Without software, Chronic Care Management (CCM) — or any other care management service — will be difficult to deliver to your patients. Your practice or organization will need to leverage a digital care coordination solution to implement your program.
But, how much does care coordination software cost for CCM? What can you expect to pay?
It depends on several factors. Software features, the number of patients you’ll serve, and whether you hope to integrate your CCM program with other care management services can influence the price.
Care coordination software options can start as low as $0.99 per month or run as high as $8 per managed patient per month. Full-service solutions, in which a third party completely manages your programs, may cost as much as $20-$30 per patient per month.
Without research, you could end up either overpaying for a software option that’s beyond what you’ll require, or you could commit to a product that’s too basic for your expansive needs. Additionally, some care coordination solutions allow for greater integration with electronic health records (EHRs) and data analytics reporting platforms. These features can further influence cost but may offer great value to your practice.
At ThoroughCare, we’ve helped more than 600 physician practices and clinics utilize care coordination software for their specific needs. We’ve helped many of these clients implement and scale CCM programs. We know what to look for in a quality care coordination solution and what to consider when making a selection.
Below, we’ll delve further into the factors that determine the cost of care coordination software for chronic disease management. We’ll cover general pricing options, features, and technical support and training resources.
What Features Influence the Cost of Software for CCM?
Care coordination software companies will price their product, in part, by the features included. For the money you spend, you should expect certain things to be included. Below, we’ll cover three features you should look for in coordinated care solutions that can help you with your chronic care program.
When shopping around, seek extensive reporting features. These should include comprehensive and exportable reports of:
Billing and claims information
You should easily be able to see all of your clinical data, summaries, and activities in PDF or CSV formats. Reporting allows providers to measure the effectiveness of the programs they’re managing and leverage the data to learn, adapt, and improve their programs.
Medicare requires a patient care plan for individuals enrolled in a chronic care program. A care plan will provide your staff with the necessary guidance when offering CCM. This document not only includes key patient health data, but it is a map of an individual’s health goals while they’re enrolled.
Some software will provide templates for care plans. A comprehensive care plan for all health issues typically includes, but is not limited to, the following elements:
Measurable treatment goals
Expected outcome and prognosis
Planned interventions and identification of the individuals responsible for each intervention
Community/social services ordered
Schedule for periodic review and, when applicable, revision of the care plan
As mentioned earlier, low-cost solutions may still require you to manually input most patient information. Premium care coordination softwarewill use a guided interview forcare plan creation, automating the process. This approach will walk your care manager through the care plan, step-by-step, by utilizing clinical content that can help ensure accuracy and capture exactly what’s required to engage patients throughout CCM enrollment.
Analytics can help ensure that any data your practice collects serves a greater purpose.
While some software companies may charge an additional licensing fee for such a tool, others may include it in the regular cost. This is definitely something you should ask about as you consider care coordination software options.
While having the cost included may seem appealing, this could also mean that a particular analytics tool is limited in its capabilities. An additional licensing fee may induce sticker shock, but it more so means that the analytics product you’re getting is of a higher quality.
It really depends on your practice and your needs. Some smaller groups will do just fine without an analytics tool, while larger organizations won’t be able to go without it.
That said, for care management programs, such as CCM or Remote Patient Monitoring (RPM), data analytics can add great value to your practice and to your patient’s experience. Continuous monitoring and analysis can support intelligent decision-making. In terms of chronic disease management, data can help track specific conditions and show how they may change over time.
Analytics can help your practice further report how it addresses value-based care performance metrics. It can help show the time spent on activities that engage patients, or show improvements in patient vitals.
Differences: Low-Cost vs. Premium Care Coordination Software
The key difference between low-cost and premium care coordination software for a CCM program is the depth of tools and features. Ultimately, the adage “you get what you pay for” rings true.
Low-price software solutions can certainly support your staff. They can, however, possibly increase workload or further complicate administrative or clinical tasks due to their limitations.
For instance, some care coordination solutions offered as an add-on with an EHR may require additional manual input with minimal interoperability with other systems. Low-price solutions may also lack extensive reporting, clinical content, auditing functions, and technical support. Also, the design of the software’s user interface can further determine a solution’s quality and affect cost.
Without a user interface that complements your clinical workflow, your staff could view care coordination software as a detriment to efficiency. Some low-cost options can forgo human-centered design, which can contribute to burnout. Premium care coordination software will support an extensive list of features and functionality while acknowledging workflow through intuitive design.
Though premium products will cost your practice more, their benefits canlead to higher returns on investment. For instance, a high-quality software solution can typically support a greater number of patients who can enroll in a CCM program. This can be the difference between a few hundred to thousands of patients.
Lastly, premium care coordination software can support greater reporting or analytics capabilities. With this functionality, it can be possible to create a very personalized care experience for your patients, as well as use data to address clinical efficiency gaps.
Is Care Coordination Software a One-Time or Recurring Cost?
While some may offer their product for a single payment, it’s more commonfor care coordination softwareproviders to charge a monthly subscription rate. Some may charge a flat fee for a particular package. This can include a suite of additional tools, training resources, and enrollment of a large patient population.
Others can charge a flat fee per patient that is enrolled. Your total expense will depend on how many patients you enroll in your chronic care program. For a smaller medical practice, the per-patient fee model usually makes the most sense. It can be more cost-efficient when you’re working with fewer program enrollees.
Package deals are typically geared more toward large hospital groups, ACOs, or physician practices that serve a greater volume of patients. These users can require broader technical support, as well as functionality. So, a more inclusive software package can usually address these needs.
Is Tech Support and Software Training Included in the Cost?
When purchasing care coordination software, consider it as if you’re starting a relationship with the vendor. You’re going to depend on them as long as you use their solution. Look for comprehensive technical support, as well as training as you shop.
Ask whether the vendor will assist with onboarding. Your clinical staff will certainly require assistance as they get up to speed with this new tool. Some questions to ask include:
Will the software company supply training?
Is this an extra cost or is it included?
Does the software have ongoing technical support after onboarding?
Is there a library of educational content and software tutorials?
The bestcare coordination solutions willinclude onboarding and training for your staff, as well as live technical support. A large library of educational content and resources doesn’t hurt, either. These resources will ensure you make the most of your purchase, meaning you’ll make the most of your CCM program.
Want an Exact Price for Care Coordination Software?
Receiving a product demonstration is a crucial component of the buying process.
If you’re leaning toward a particular software vendor, a demo is an opportunity to see what your money would acquire. ThoroughCare’s care coordination software for CCM offers many of the features described above.
You’ll see exactly how our comprehensive solution is designed for easy clinical use, as well as supports integration with other care management programs. You can also automate specific tasks and utilize analytics to close clinical efficiency gaps.