Remote patient monitoring solution allows practitioners to monitor chronic conditions remotely without the patient having to visit a clinic. Practitioners choose one or more devices to deliver RPM. They then collect data from their patients and transmit it securely back to the practice to be evaluated.
There are many RPM devices available on the market. Each device has its own purpose and can be used to track symptoms of chronic diseases. Blood pressure cuffs monitor and report blood pressure, heart rate, and other information to patients suffering from hypertension or heart disease. A blood glucose monitor (i.e. glucometer), tracks and reports information on blood sugar for diabetics.
There are also weight scales that can be used to track water retention in patients suffering from heart disease. Spirometers can also be used to measure lung function in patients suffering from asthma or chronic obstructive and/or debilitating pulmonary disease (COPD). The patient is instructed on how to use the device. Next, the data are collected in an easy-to-use application and sent to the practice via a secure Bluetooth connection or cellular connection.
The Value of Remote Patient Monitoring Solution for Patients
Let’s look closer at five benefits remote monitoring solutions can bring to patients.
- Better Access to the Healthcare Team: Practitioners are kept up to date on the current health status of their patients using RPM devices. This gives them and caregivers more peace of mind.
- Fewer Trips to the Practitioner’s Office: Patients are less likely to contract other diseases and there is less need for travel expenses.
- Improved Quality of Care: Remote patient monitoring solution gives practitioners a better understanding of patients’ health conditions. This can help them make more precise adjustments to medications, reduce emergency room visits and save time between visits.
- More Control Over Personal Health: Remote patient monitoring usually comes with an app for a tablet or phone that allows patients to instantly analyze their health. This allows patients to make small changes in their daily lives that will help them better manage their condition.
- Better Support and Education. The healthcare team has more information about patients’ health so practitioners can offer better education and support.
Financial Benefits of Remote Patient Monitoring
As noted, remote patient monitoring doesn’t just deliver clinical benefits. Remote patient monitoring solutions can also be used to provide financial benefits for patients and their practices.
The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services have updated rules and reimbursement guidelines for remote patient monitors. This has allowed the service to grow and expand tremendously.
CMS, which is officially covered under original Medicare, has established coverage rules that Medicare Advantage plans must follow. The lead laid out by Medicare will eventually be followed by most private insurance companies.
Medicare patients should expect copays up to the time they reach their deductible. RPM begins at 80% after the deductible has been met. Beneficiaries can expect to pay an average of $25 per month for remote monitoring.
This may seem like a large amount, but consider the true cost of regular office visits to monitor chronic conditions. $25 per month seems like a reasonable price considering travel costs, expenses and waiting time in an infectious waiting room. Consider the cost of hospitalization for untreated exacerbations of chronic diseases. In some cases, this can run into the thousands.
Remote patient monitoring, which is a more lucrative option for Medicare care management, can be a great alternative. Learn more about RPM billing, reimbursement and coding.