Using digital technology to better coordinate patient care can help to save money and deliver more efficient care, especially for managing chronic conditions, the nation’s largest health insurer said today at the World Congress conference in Atlanta.

The Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services, or CMS, is the nation’s biggest single healthcare insurer and pays more than $1.5 billion worth of claims daily.

But as big as the federal government is when it comes to healthcare delivery and payment, CMS also is trying to make it easier and more efficient for care coordinators to use technology.

That’s one of the key takeaways from Richard Wild, CMS chief medical officer for the Atlanta and Boston offices.
Each year CMS spends more than $800 million on beneficiaries enrolled in Medicare and Medicaid, Wild said Thursday at World Congress 2019 Care Coordination & Technology Conference in Atlanta. “CMS is improving customer experience,” he told attendees.

Using digital technology to better coordinate patient care can help to save money and deliver more efficient care, especially for managing chronic conditions. Today, patients with multiple chronic conditions account for about 15% of all Medicare and Medicaid patients but account for at least 50% of all spending, according to CMS.

One area where the federal government is looking to better coordinate care for chronic disease management is through the expedited use of telehealth. For example, new interim government rules for telehealth make is easier for patients to get treatment and providers to get authorization for treating opioid patients and patients with behavioral disorders.

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“We are interested in recognizing changes in healthcare practices that incorporate innovation and technology in managing patient care,” CMS says.

Examples where CMS is working to incorporate better coordinated care is by adopting payment scenarios for virtual care, such as paying physicians for submitting “remote evaluation of patient-submitted photos or recorded video.”
“CMS is becoming more patient-centric and creating pathways to success,” Wild told attendees.

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