Advice for beginners
For practices considering billing for CCM services, current users offer similar advice: plan ahead, start slow and make sure everyone in the practice understands what CCM involves. “Be sure you’ve got people who know what’s required, because there are some weird little hoops you’ve got to jump through to fulfill the [billing] requirements,” Lucarelli says.
As an example, she cites the requirement that patients be offered a copy of their care plan and that the offer is documented in the patient’s record. “You’d hate to put in all the work and then not get paid because you’re missing a piece,” she says.
“Identify someone in your organization who is a people person and has good organizational skills, and give them some dedicated time each day,” Bailey advises. “Then as the program builds, you can look at whether it makes sense to hire someone full-time.”
Ballou-Nelson also advocates holding off on hiring a full-time care manager, noting that in finding time for a current staff member to take on the responsibilities practices sometimes find they have excess capacity.
“I’m a big proponent of, ‘let’s try to work with the staff we have right now,’” she says. “Let’s see who we can retrain, what we can reorganize and what we can get by with.”