More than two-thirds of Medicare beneficiaries suffer from twoor more chronic conditions, such as diabetes, asthma and heartfailure.

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A new report by SmartCCM, a chronic care management firm,asserts that physicians are overwhelmed by the chronically illpatients, and simply don't have the time to deliver the necessarycare.

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Read: Providers see Medicare Advantageopportunity

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According to a survey of physicians conducted by SmartCCM, 63percent of them cite time restrictions as one of the top twochallenges preventing them from providing seniors with optimalcare.

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Physicians said they don't have enough time to properly instructpatients on following their treatment plan.

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The next biggest concern, cited by 53 percent of physicians asone of the top two issues, is the complexity that comes withmanaging multiple ailments of Medicare patients.

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Other issues that large groups of physicians cited as their toptwo concerns:

  • Patients' inconsistency in following treatment plans (32percent)

  • Patients' hesitation to undergo tests because of cost (21percent)

  • High frequency of calls or visits from certain patients (17percent)

  • Inability to monitor patients between visits (11 percent)

"Knowing that chronic care patients are a significant part ofthe population--and a group that has additional needs--it iscritical that physicians find ways to regularly monitor theirwellness and compliance," said Andrew Baumiller, CEO ofSmartCCM.

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While this study suggests that doctors are stretched for time indealing with senior patients, it appears that Medicare patients arepleased with their care. A poll conducted in March shows that 85percent of those enrolled in traditional Medicare are highlysatisfied, while 88 percent of those enrolled in Medicare Advantageare highly satisfied with their care.

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