CCS Medical ‘Connects’ diabetes patients
FARMERS BRANCH, Texas – CCS Medical is seeing 25% higher testing rates for hemoglobin A1c, blood pressure, cholesterol, kidney and eye tests, and reductions in emergency room visits and hospitalizations for patients in its virtual diabetes education program.
Most diabetes education programs are offered only in-person, usually in a class setting with an educator available on a limited schedule. That’s not the case with CCS Connects, which allows people with diabetes to work individually with a certified diabetes educator by phone, email, webinar or Skype to get the information and support they need.
“Traditionally, people go to diabetes education classes and work on goals,” said Kristine Erdman, vice president of clinical services for CCS Medical. “Then they’re done and you never see them again. But people are still struggling with their management and self-care. We never dismiss or discharge anyone from the program.”
CCS Connects was recently named a Diabetes Education Accreditation Program by the American Association of Diabetes Educators.It’s the longest-running diabetes education program of its kind, with 18 years of improved outcomes.
CCS Connects uses health assessments and smart devices to help members with medication adherence, goal setting and other behavioral modifications. It also can be combined with CCS Living Connected, an interactive wellness program that provides round-the-clock monitoring and access to a team of RNs, dietitians, pharmacists and diabetes educators. Wireless glucose meters provide instant results for CDEs, so if a member has an adverse glucose reading they can immediately intervene.
“With the technology now, you can have a direct view in real-time how they are doing,” Erdman said. “We don’t have to call and ask ‘Do you need supplies?’ because we can text from the device.”
In the future, CCS Medical plans to develop similar programs focused on hypertension, diabetes prevention and asthma.