Medicare 411 – New Medical Help for People with Chronic Illness

Medicare 411 – New Medical Help for People with Chronic Illness

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Greg Dill
Courtesy: Medicare

Greg Dill is Medicare’s regional administrator for Hawai‘i, California, Nevada, Arizona and the Pacific Territories. You can always get answers to your Medicare questions by calling 1-800-MEDICARE (1-800-633-4227).

If you have Medicare, there’s a good chance you have two or more chronic conditions, such as arthritis, cancer, diabetes, heart disease or dementia.

Two-thirds of the 57 million Americans with Medicare have two or more chronic illnesses. Having multiple chronic conditions increases the risk of death and functional limitations, decreases quality of life and leads to higher health care spending.

Managing chronic diseases can be difficult, to say the least. You often face multiple visits to one or more doctors; you must take multiple drugs at different times on different days; or you have to make extra trips for tests. It can all be a bit overwhelming.

At Medicare, we recognize the challenges you face in managing your conditions, working with your health care providers and trying to stay healthy. Two years ago, we added a new benefit called Chronic Care Management, or CCM. This program provides additional payments to doctors and other providers to help you live with chronic disease.

For example, through the CCM benefit, your primary care doctor will help you keep track of your medical history, medications and all the different health care providers you see. You will receive a comprehensive care plan that outlines your treatments and goals. Additionally, you’ll have 24-hours-a-day, seven-days-a-week access to health care professionals for urgent needs from the comfort of your home.

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