The Role of Baby Boomers in Chronic Care Management

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Baby boomers are people born between 1946 and 1964 when there was a temporary but significant increase in the birth rate after World War II. They used to be the largest generation before they were overtaken by Millennials.

The Statistics

  • Baby boomers reached their peak in 1999 with a total population of 78.8 million, representing roughly 20% of the American populace.
  • Since 2011, there are 10,000 Americans turning age 65 every day. This will go on until 2029 when the last wave of Baby Boomers has reached retirement age.
  • According to the national average, about 66% of Medicare beneficiaries that are more than 65 years of age are managing multiple chronic conditions.

 

The Problem

Based on a study done by JAMA Internal Medicine, Baby Boomers have a higher life-expectancy than their predecessors. However, it’s also been revealed that they have higher rates of disability and chronic diseases like diabetes, heart diseases and cancer; which are mainly due to poor lifestyle choices. This leads us to the ultimate challenge of how quality care will be given to a huge number of sick elderly by our already strained healthcare system.

 

The Steps Being Taken

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) had started the implementation of a new payment code in January 2015. This aims to provide better chronic care management at a reduced cost.  Under the Medicare Physician Fee Schedule (PFS), Medicare will pay for 20 minutes of non-face-to-face chronic care services amounting to about $41 every 30-day period. Patients with at least 2 chronic conditions are eligible for this CCM service.

Also, thanks to this program, physicians will now receive compensation for providing chronic care aside from the regular checkups. However, there are some guidelines and requirements that must be followed. One of these is the need to have a certified EHR technology which will be used in some parts of the patient agreement provisions and the CCM Scope of Service elements. You can check this chronic care management infographic for the steps physicians need to take in order to comply with this new code.

 

The Steps YOU Can Take

Like a lot of people, you probably have loved ones  ̶  Baby Boomer or not, who are nearing or already at the age of retirement. There are several steps that you can take to ensure that your loved ones age in place comfortably. You can find a nurse and a caregiver who will help them with their health and personal care. You also need to be proactive and ensure that your loved ones have a health plan and long-term care insurance. There are a lot of things that you can do. These steps would depend on your time, budget and other related factors. Don’t limit yourself and be sure to take an active part in managing your loved ones’ chronic care.