Did you know that, according to the CDC, arthritis is the leading cause of disability in adults?(1) More than 50 million Americans are affected by some form of arthritis. Two specific diagnoses, Osteoarthritis and Rheumatoid Arthritis, are considered chronic care management qualifying conditions, CPT Code 99490. In 2014, CMS calculated that 31% of Medicare patients had been treated for these two conditions.(2) Effective Arthritis Chronic Care Management is integral to meeting the needs of the country’s growing senior population.
Ease Functional Limitations with CCM
Although the causes of Osteoarthritis and Rheumatoid Arthritis are vastly different, the needs of these patients are not. Effective treatment that improves quality of life and joint mobility begins with comprehensive symptom management plan, which includes a personalized care pathway. Through Arthritis Chronic Care Management, participants can be connected to the resources they need to successfully enroll in low-impact exercise programs, coordinate care between specialists, gain or maintain access to the medications they require, and obtain assistive devices that will compensate or ease mobility loss.
Exercise is Key to Arthritis Chronic Care Management
Despite the fact that a sedentary life seems like the best way to avoid the pain and discomfort of Osteoarthritis and Rheumatoid Arthritis, exercise is the best way to decrease pain and increase mobility.(3) CCM participants are encouraged by their Chronic Care Management coordinators to participate in low-impact aerobic exercise programs, whether in a group setting or through an individual program. CCM coordinators can assist participants with finding the right fit for each person’s lifestyle and budget. Whether it is a low-cost water aerobics class at the local community pool, or a self-monitored walking program, CCM coordinators are there to assist with obtaining resources and monitoring adherence to an exercise program.
Increase or Maintain Independence for Arthritis Patients
Medication to treat Rheumatoid Arthritis has been estimated to cost patients over $2,700 a year and up to 29.6% of prescription costs.(4) These out-of-pocket expenditures create barriers to medication compliance and obtaining assistive devices that increase independence. Discount programs, pharmacy comparisons, and information regarding local assistance programs are just a few ways that CCM coordinators may relieve financial strains for patients with arthritis.
Other ways that CCM coordinators can help participants is by assisting them to obtain tools for daily living to support independence, such as:
- Fixed jar openers
- Tub bars and handrails
- Raised toilet seats
- Pen/pencil grips
- Gas cap opener
- One-handed kitchen tools
- Assistive devices for dressing
Chronic Care Management Strengthens Program Adherence
As detailed above, there are many aspects of Arthritis Chronic Care Management that are essential to controlling arthritis symptoms. Symptom management through appropriate exercise programs, adherence to medications, patient education, and assistive devices should be the goal of Chronic Care Management for arthritis patients. By working with participants, CCM coordinators can provide the much needed support that participants require to live less stressful and more independent lives. Whether a patient needs assistance maintaining an exercise program, a medication regimen, organizing various doctor’s appointments, or finding necessary resources, a CCM coordinator has the means with which to expertly guide patients on their path to good symptom management and successful Arthritis Chronic Care Management.
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, “Arthritis,” [Online] March 2017. [Cited: 2017, June 7], https://www.cdc.gov/arthritis/data_statistics/arthritis-related-stats.htm
- Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, “Chronic Conditions Data Warehouse: Medicare Chronic Conditions Charts,” [Online] April 2016 [Cited: 2017, June 7], https://www.ccwdata.org/web/guest/medicare-charts/medicare-chronic-condition-charts
- Hunter, David J. and Felix Eckstein, “Exercise and Osteoarthritis,” Journal of Anatomy, 2009 Feb; 214(2): 197-207; Rheumatoid Arthritis Support Network, “Exercise for Rheumatoid Arthritis,” [Online] August 2016. [Cited: 2017, June 7], https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2667877/
- (2015, April 21). Patients grapple with high cost of arthritis medications.ScienceDaily. Retrieved May 31, 2017 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2015/04/150421084806.htm