Chronic Care Reimbursement Tested at Florida Hospital

The Florida Hospital Physician Group and Florida Hospital are implementing a mobile health platform developed by Smartlink Mobile Systems to allow doctors to communicate with their patients to track their health, both individually and as part of a larger population. The platform also enables physicians to -be reimbursed for their after-hours time under the CMS's program for Chronic Care Management (CCM). The CCM program was launched in January to pay for physicians' non-face time with patients. The program requires participating providers to have several electronic capabilities, such as a 24/7 communication platform that allows patients to access care services, a platform that allows to communicate with other providers, and the ability to send information electronically.

Dr. Arthur Polin, medical director for Florida Hospital North Pinellas, estimates that the new mobile platform could save the system about $38,000 per physician, as a result of improved care and workflows. Polin also believes that the number could triple from CMS reimbursements for chronic care via telehealth. The auditable function that Smartlink added to its platforms enable physicians to track how many after-hours were spent on patient care. Furthermore, the auditable activity encourages physicians to accept after-hour phone calls and consult with other team members, which ultimately will lead to better outcomes.

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Caroline Smith is currently a senior at the University of Notre Dame and is a contributor to Medical Groups. She is majoring in Science-Business and Spanish. After graduation, Caroline plans on entering the field of healthcare consulting. She is most interested in the evolving policy changes in the healthcare industry and enjoys learning about new technologies that are being developed.