In recent years, remote patient monitoring has become a popular trend in the healthcare industry, allowing physicians to better monitor patients remotely, even between visits.
The technology has various benefits that include decreased cost and improved patient care.
We can use RPM in multiple settings, including hospitals and nursing homes.
This comprehensive guide will share everything you need to know about RPM, how it can benefit your patients, and so on.
Remote Patient Monitoring (RPM) is a technology that allows healthcare providers to monitor patients remotely. We can use the technology for various purposes, such as delivering real-time alerts to care teams about a patient’s health condition and helping them identify potential complications early on.
Patient monitoring refers to any kind of monitoring performed in a clinical setting, such as a doctor’s office or hospital. It requires equipment, such as heart rate monitoring or blood pressure. The data from these monitors is recorded on charts or graphs.
Remote patient monitoring medicare takes advantage of technology to gather data from patients who are not in a care facility. Care teams can collect the information using wearable devices on patients.
Remote medical monitoring relies on digital technology to gather patients’ medical and other health data remotely and transmit the information to various healthcare providers in different locations to make timely adjustments and interventions electronically.
Here is the procedure of how RPM works:
Once the provider activates a patient’s monitor, the program gathers and structures information in an internal system to transmit the data to a healthcare provider.
Remote patient monitoring efficiently analyzes real-time data to detect abnormal or unhealthy readings.
The information gathered is then communicated to the healthcare facility using innovative technology, such as phone, internet, text, or other modes of communication.
Once the data is transmitted, internal algorithms evaluate it to identify critical readings. Next, they return this information to the patient or healthcare team.
The program sends alerts to a pre-selected care team whenever a physician notices a discrepancy in the data that requires immediate attention.
After the system sends an alert to the care team, the team contacts the patient and provides immediate assistance. It also explains to the patient what happened and how to avoid a similar alarming situation in the future.
To become a reseller of our RPM program, visit our “Partner With Us” page now.
Technological advancements and healthcare services are rapidly transforming the healthcare industry. With remote healthcare, providers can remotely treat patients with a wide range of medical conditions, including elderly patients with chronic diseases.
The remote monitoring model benefits patients, providers, and the entire healthcare system by improving health outcomes, lowering costs, and increasing care efficiency.
Remote medical monitoring helps both patients and providers. It allows care teams to bill for remote patient services, including phone calls, while raising billable hours. With innovative care models, remote patient care empowers providers to gain a competitive advantage by attracting and retaining more patients.
Remote patient monitoring CPT codes 99457 and 99458 reimburse physicians for time spent on remote care activities, such as analyzing patient data and helping physicians increase revenue streams. Remote medical monitoring workflow also enables care teams to seamlessly incorporate devices into their workflows, collect extensive data, and improve patient health.
360 HealthTek remote patient monitoring motivates patients to adhere to their treatment plan because any failure to comply with the plan is reflected in their accounts.
Using remote medical monitoring encourages providers to guide their patients on taking care of themselves between office appointments as part of proactive treatment. With the increasing prevalence of chronic health issues, remote monitoring in healthcare is among the most sought-after strategies used to improve outcomes while increasing patient participation.
According to a 2018 report, hospital readmissions, emergency room visits, and inpatient admissions diminish significantly when patients become more involved in their care. Remote telemonitoring encourages patients to follow treatment and care plans, take prescribed medications, and maintain regular contact with their care teams. The program increases patient engagement in healthcare, resulting in better health outcomes and satisfaction.
Remote patient care helps make better use of resources to improve healthcare efficiency. By collecting, preserving, and using patient data to improve medical decision-making, remote medical monitoring allows for faster care delivery prioritization, case triage, and better communication. RPM also enhances performance and patients’ satisfaction.
Your team’s clinical benefits will eventually translate into financial gains that will probably persuade resistant stakeholders in your health system once measured and presented. Incorporating remote patient care and telehealth into your facility can bring your organization the following financial advantages:
Based on the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s report, it has been estimated that the United States spends over $3.5 trillion on treating chronic diseases such as hypertension, diabetes, heart disease, asthma, COPD, and other mental health conditions.
Studies across the country show that when patients benefit from remote monitoring, treatment efficacy improves for plenty of conditions. The results of a year-long research on patients with heart failure, published by health intelligence, credited remote patient monitoring with over $8,000 saving per patient and reduced hospitalization by over 30%.
Regarding coverage standards, most private insurance companies eventually follow Medicare’s lead. CMS has increased remote medical monitoring reimbursement for Medicare and Medicare Advantage plans.
Remote patient care is among the most lucrative Medicare care management programs for clinicians in many specialties. Patients should anticipate copays until they meet their deductibles, at which point RPM is covered at 80%.
During the pandemic, CMS covered RPM for existing and new patients who gave explicit consent to receive virtual care.
Telehealth programs such as remote patient care benefit private payers as well. The following are the advantages of the program to healthcare payers:
Remote medical monitoring empowers clinicians to drive proper utilization, significantly reducing costs associated with high-risk patients.
Monitoring a patient daily and detecting hazardous symptoms before they aggravate and require hospitalization is a better and more efficient model of care for both patients and the payers.
The program reduces the cost structure for payers’ highest risk patients and improves the payers’ quality score because the system authorizes clinicians to decide regarding utilization. The payers can get the patient monitored by a physician before the patient is in a complete, fulminating disease state, where they have to be in intensive care for days and days — which is costly.
That effectively reduces costs for payers and can directly improve their quality scores by improving care and outcomes.
Remote medical monitoring improves members’ satisfaction and loyalty because their health plan allows them to stay under the care teams’ close observation, even between the office or hospital visits.
Telehealth is there to improve patient satisfaction by providing access to care and connecting them with specialists and other healthcare providers remotely.
Patients enjoy peace of mind due to being constantly monitored by practitioners with remote patient care devices.
Remote patient care helps elderly patients save time and money from visiting hospitals in person. It also protects patients from exposure to other illnesses.
Patients experience better medication, more time between in-office visits, and fewer emergency room visits because of the holistic identification of patients’ health conditions with RPM.
Thanks to continuous health monitoring through user-friendly mobile apps, doctors can instantly track a patient’s well-being and devise minor adjustments to their daily activities to improve their health. The platform also alerts care teams in case of any abnormal readings.
With remote medical monitoring, care teams can deliver personalized care and education to each patient, considering their information.
To learn more about who we offer our services to, visit our “Who We Help” page.
The blood glucose monitor is a handheld device that measures blood glucose levels. It has an LCD screen with a backlight that makes it easy to read in the dark. It also has a memory to keep track of your readings. The blood glucose monitor is ideal for patients who need to monitor their blood glucose levels remotely and regularly.
The weight control monitor helps patients keep track of their weight and fitness progress by providing real-time data on body weight, BMI, and waist circumference. The monitor can also provide patients with feedback on their physical activities and nutrition habits.
The spirometer is a device that measures the respiratory parameters of patients in remote locations. The device requires no batteries and is compatible with a wide range of monitoring equipment. It provides real-time readings of vital signs, such as heart rate, oxygen saturation, and carbon dioxide levels, that are then transmitted to the care teams.
The blood pressure monitor is a small, unobtrusive device worn on the body or carried in a pocket to help monitor blood pressure remotely. It wirelessly transmits data (including blood pressure readings) to an accompanying app, which can provide real-time feedback and alerts about elevated blood pressure levels. The monitor also includes built-in memory for up to 8 readings to track your progress over time.
Four examples of cardiology remote patient monitoring in the USA include:
Monitoring blood pressure allows for diagnosing whether a patient is hypertensive. Patients can conveniently use the device by putting a cuff on their arms and turning on the device to get the readings and transmit the data to the care teams.
The ongoing treatment of hypertension requires single or multiple medications. Remote patient care helps doctors make frequent, major medication adjustments based on timely and accurate data from the device to recommend medications that best suit their health conditions.
Regular weight monitoring can save patients from various symptoms of heart failure, such as fluid retention, swelling, or feeling unwell. In addition, a patient may suffer from the symptoms of congestive heart failure after gaining 10 pounds of extra fluid weight.
RPM enables doctors to monitor obese patients constantly and suggest tips to lose weight. Obesity causes serious health issues, such as heart disease, strokes, type 2 diabetes, and others.
Three examples of pulmonology remote patient care comprise:
While chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) is incurable, patients can get it treated by pulmonologists who would provide them with a plan entailing rehabilitation, medication, therapy, oxygen, and support. A remote patient care spirometer helps pulmonologists deliver timely and effective COPD oversight. As a result, patients are motivated to follow the doctors’ guidelines and get better health results.
With an effective plan and remote patient monitoring, pulmonologists can treat asthma patients by devising various exercises, medications, methods to avoid triggers, and other recommendations. Research shows that ongoing monitoring leads asthma patients to experience more symptom-free days, improved asthma control, and reduced requirement for rescue medications.
Pulmonologists require RPM for patients with bronchiectasis, fibrosis (CF), and other respiratory diseases. The care teams believe using remote patient care in respiratory disease management is experiencing an ever-growing demand.
Following are two examples of remote medical monitoring within endocrinology.
Endocrinologists use various ways to lower the harmful effects of diabetes, a chronic disease, on a patient’s life by encouraging patients to make effective diet changes, lose weight, and live an active lifestyle.
Blood sugar testing plays a vital role in tracking diabetes and avoiding complications. It works by monitoring blood sugar readings, managing medications, analyzing progress, and assessing the effects on a patient’s body after changing the exercise and diet plan.
Constant blood sugar monitoring is ideal for type 1 diabetic patients to detect real-time blood sugar variations that are hard to identify with fingerstick blood tests. Patients are offered a Continuous Glucose Monitoring (CGM) device, a constant glucose monitoring program. A patient needs to attach a small sensor to their abdomen to use the device, including a cannula that penetrates the skin and provides 24/7 measurements. Finally, it transmits the data to care teams to devise adjustments accordingly.
After understanding the RPM’s numerous benefits, you need to know how the system can help your care facility and make the most of the program financially.
Integrating remote patient care into your facility will be convenient once you understand how to choose the RPM system and build an effective mechanism to educate your patients regarding the program. Finally, you must learn how you will be reimbursed for your services.
To read the details about our billing module, visit our “Billing module” page now.
You need to know four remote patient monitoring best practices to ensure success:
It is reported by the Center for Connected Health Policy that Medicare and 30 state Medicaid programs cover remote patient monitoring. The organization clarifies that just particular physiologic codes are covered in Ohio and California after CMS reimbursement with payment modeled.
While various commercial payers have already been covering remote patient care under their telehealth coverage policies, the number of the payers has surged due to the fact the COVID-19 pandemic accelerated the process of RPM’s broader coverage.
A healthcare organization can earn up to $206 monthly by enrolling a single patient into a remote patient monitoring program if we sum up the amounts of all the reimbursements. A care organization will provide a patient with about 20 minutes of RPM services monthly, making it about $106 total monthly reimbursement per Medicare beneficiary. $106 alone may not seem a considerable amount. However, you can turn it into a substantial amount by aggregating and enrolling an increasing number of patients into the remote patient monitoring program. Let’s say your facility enrolls 200 patients into your RPM program with basic care management services. In that case, you will earn up to $254000 Medicare RPM reimbursement annually. In short, remote medical monitoring brings considerable and consistent revenue even after bearing associated costs.
Next, correctly code your remote patient care to receive those payments.
Here’s the list of CPT codes assigned to RPM.
Remote patient monitoring services are billed using four codes that are classified into two categories:
The descriptors of RPM service code include:
Following are the descriptors of remote medical monitoring management:
The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) mentioned that clinical staff could provide CPT 99457 & CPT 99458 under the billing providers’ supervision.
Avoiding scrutiny of billing practices and minimizing the chances of claims denials are among the critical steps to integrating a remote patient care program. You need to learn the CMS guidelines for RPM to implement the system.
CMS helps providers practice the following RPM requirements to qualify for reimbursements:
CMS specifies that remote patient care devices are bound to comply with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s criteria for a medical device.
To ensure you make use of four primary RPM codes, the following are the four tips:
Considering COVID-19 as a national health emergency, private payers and government, both federal and state, have announced some changes to the rules to provide patients with better access to care. As a result, the patients are restricted to staying at home to practice social distancing while getting significant care services.
CMS’ temporarily relaxed and expanded rules are among the significant shifts in healthcare delivery. In May 2020, the CMS published two scheduled interim rules regarding the fee of final interim Medicare physician, amending policies and requirements.
In this interim final rule, the following are the four most essential revisions to remote patient monitoring policies:
There is one additional requirement for this CPT code for remote patient monitoring. Until 2021, organizations could still use the provider-specific CPT 99091, but they did so infrequently because the newer RPM codes stated above were nearly always preferable. However, the 2021 regulation mentioned that 99091 could be billed with modern care management codes, such as CPT 99457.
In the final rule, CMS adopted a new interpretation that allows providers to charge for an additional “complicated” RPM management service when the physician must devote considerable time to caring for the patient and their RPM care plan. Since the 2021 change of rule, we can bill CPT 99091 every 30 days anytime complex management is required without compromising the monthly billing of clinical staff time via CPT 99457.
Several confusing and contradictory phrases appeared in the initial 2021 final regulation. Less than two months after the final 2021 rule was announced, CMS took the unaccustomed step of producing a corrected document. This document helped dispel several misunderstandings regarding RPM billing rules. The areas in question include:
Understanding and adhering to the RPM coding and billing guidelines is essential for receiving the compensation you deserve and keeping in compliance with laws and regulations. Since CMS stated in January 2021 that it would audit Medicare Part B telehealth services in two parts, RPM compliance has become even more crucial and is included in the second phase.
How may RPM service providers get themselves into trouble with auditors? Some organizations intentionally violate regulations to increase their profits. These circumstances are uncommon. Instead, most RPM compliance concerns arise from misinterpreting requirements, such as those outlined above, or from working with RPM partnering vendors that purposefully or accidentally take corners.
Now that you’ve hopefully received answers to your questions about coding and reimbursement, it’s time to explore the final consideration: how to choose a software system that will work for your organization.
Following is the list of questions you should ask yourself before investing in an RPM system:
Depending on your education level, the answer to this question may be straightforward or somewhat more complicated. Many administrations can be provided using remote patient monitoring, including pulse estimation, weight, glucose levels, and other vital signs.
Strength practices must look for a remote patient care system that supports RPM hardware to gather and decipher the most appropriate patient information. Cardiologists may be particularly concerned with circulating strain and weight, whereas an endocrinologist may focus on blood glucose levels, for example.
However, general or family practices must base their choice of RPM administrations on their target patient base and the conditions they need to oversee.
Several factors can influence how easy it is to set up an RPM system. First, some RPM sellers will provide the system and guidelines for rehearsals and expect practices to perform the majority or the entire arrangement work.
Second, various merchants will play a more active role in supporting arrangements, helping speed up the cycle and better ensure questions are answered. Any barriers to progress are addressed quickly.
The success of an RPM program typically depends on the RPM equipment or gadgets used by patients. The remote patient care equipment you can offer and give to patients will vary depending on your chosen system.
For example, some merchants will require you to provide patients with the seller’s remote patient care hardware to use the remote medical monitoring system. Others will allow you to “bring your device,” implying that you have the flexibility to coordinate the use of devices made by various manufacturers.
Remote patient monitoring can be an ideal way for training to generate income. Practices can earn between $120 and $140 per month per patient. Acquiring this figure requires legal coding and charging.
Your remote patient monitoring system will influence whether you consistently complete coding and charging precisely and how long staff must spend charging for administrations. When speaking with sellers, determine how their remote patient monitoring systems adhere to coding and charging.
A sound RPM system will make that interaction easier and smoother for you. When you can charge precisely and productively, you can reduce related staffing costs and allow your training to expand what it gets after paying the remote medical monitoring seller for its administration.
The CMS remote patient monitoring system you select will aid in directing the type of remote medical monitoring program used by your training and vice versa. We can divide projects into two types:
It is essential to understand the differences between these types of remote patient monitoring programs to determine what type of remote patient monitoring program you require for your training program.
Making an informed decision on which remote patient monitoring system to invest in could mean whether a remote medical monitoring program, including the software and services provided, successfully meets the needs of patients and organizations or if it is a terrible investment.
After making a decision, you need to consider the program’s execution.
Educating patients to ensure buy-in and implement quality RPM technologies that work correctly with as little post-launch attention as possible are the keys to your RPM’s short- and long-term viability.
Ensuring your patients fully understand the concept of remote patient monitoring home health is the first step to securing patient buy-in.
Some patients will be familiar with the remote patient home monitoring model, while others will have never heard of it.
Remote medical monitoring is frequently confused with other remote health services or in-hospital patient monitoring systems that monitor body temperature, respiration, arrhythmia, blood-level oxygen saturation, and carbon dioxide.
Getting patient buy-in begins with ensuring that patients understand the concept of remote health monitoring.
Many patients might have heard of RPM, while others might be unaware of whether such a program exists.
Make sure patients don’t mix up remote medical monitoring with other types of telehealth or with existing patient monitoring systems used in hospitals to track common healthcare data and information.
Next, the goal is to give patients a general understanding of how remote medical monitoring technologies and processes work.
Show patients the device to which they will be connected and explain how it works, including how to troubleshoot a faulty device and what type of healthcare information will be transmitted.
Some patients will require an explanation of the value and benefits of this next-generation healthcare model during the initial stages.
Here are just a few of the justifications you can offer them:
This includes reducing the need for office visits to receive remote patient home monitoring services.
Both parties will access the same data, improving healthcare strategies and outcomes.
Once again, the importance of patient and physician receiving the same information simultaneously cannot be overstated.
It helps address potential issues before they become significant ones.
In terms of healthcare and secondary costs, such as travel, the program allows care organizations to minimize patient costs.
The program allows elderly or disabled patients to stay home longer and postpone or avoid admission to long-term care facilities.
When patients understand they will not need to leave their home to receive care — or that home RPM will provide better care at a lower cost — your practice’s overall buy-in will increase.
When onboarding new remote medical monitoring patients, ensure they understand the device setup and where to get technical help — never assume that the included instructions will be sufficient for all users.
Patients may become frustrated, disengaged, or opt out of the program if it is ambiguous or difficult to set up and use.
How much work you will need to do to help patients complete these processes and troubleshoot issues will depend on the company you partner with to serve as your RPM vendor and the type of program you enter into.
A proactive vendor team typically supports full-service RPM programs, whereas self-managed programs may require the practice to handle most of the work.
Using various communication methods to meet the needs of different patients and learning styles creates an ideal foundation for launching a successful program.
While some patients may prefer to discuss the remote medical monitoring program in person, over the phone, or via videoconference, others may choose to receive information via postal mail, email, or text message links to resources.
Consider making videos that provide information about your program and specific devices, their setup and troubleshooting instructions, and the demonstration of more complex instruments.
A quality remote medical monitoring program should begin with various communication methods that cater to different patient needs.
While some patients prefer an initial discussion about home RPM via phone or videoconference, others prefer direct mail, email, or text messages.
Updating your practice’s website with information about your program, specific devices, setup, and troubleshooting may be a valuable resource for tech-savvy patients.
Consider creating or linking to videos to operate more complex Bluetooth devices.
In fact, during the initial program stage, the first question you should ask is how your patients prefer to receive training information.
The question allows patients to have more control over their experience and may alleviate concerns about using new technology.
Making it as simple as possible for patients to join and actively take part in their health care, a remote medical monitoring program will deliver virtual care, streamline operations, and reduce practice costs and resources invested.
Remote patient monitoring is essential for healthcare providers to have in their arsenals. It will help them improve patient care and ensure they receive the best possible treatment.
Various remote patient monitoring devices are available, so you must find the right one for your specific needs. By using remote medical monitoring technology and other healthcare strategies, patients and healthcare providers can optimize care and reduce costs.
If you are interested to improve patient care while reducing costs, consider implementing remote patient monitoring technology in your facilities.