So, you’ve put on a few pounds. At first it was a little extra chub here and there, and then a new pants size and now your annual physical always comes with a reminder that you could use to lose a few pounds. You expect to walk away from the appointment with a slap on the wrist, at worst and, predictably, don’t lose weight.
But what if your employer offered you an incentive to lose weight? How much information would you be willing to share?
Perhaps more than you think, according to Jerry Felix and Bill Nadler, co-founders of the Connected Care Management Link, or CCM Link
. The duo developed this cloud-based program to cut costs and help patients manage chronic conditions, by, for example, tackling obesity or monitoring an elderly parent with dementia.
“It seemed that everyone that we talked to who had struggled caring for an aging parent or a chronic patient agreed that communication and tracking was an issue,” Felix says.
The product is timely, with Medicaid getting ready to cut reimbursements to hospitals for patients readmitted within 30 days. Frequent readmissions can be a symptom of poor follow-up or inadequate at-home care.
CCM Link allows patients, medical practitioners and family members to maintain separate accounts and log-in from any computer to access and add information about medication schedules, physician orders, progress reports and even data tracking for, say, blood pressure readings. Each user can set up a notification schedule. For example, adult children might receive a message if a diabetic parent fails to log blood sugar levels, or if medications are changed.
The company is currently focused on its business-to-business product, which is targeted to businesses looking to cut healthcare expenses by encouraging health lifestyles. A business-to-consumer model is set to launch in July.
Our first customer group was a local hospital group. They’re working with a set of employees. They also provide insurance for other employers. They’ve identified their high-cost users. These might be employees or family of employees. They’ve put case managers working with these employees to try to impact their health care to cut down costs.
CCM Link has already received funding from start-up accelerator Innov8 for Health and employs 10 people full time. Felix and Nadler have leveraged resources from their IT management company, EC Link, to get CCM Link running, and say they have spoken with approximately 500 potential clients to date.
By Robin Donovan