Patient monitoring has been an integral part of the healthcare system for decades. Today, the adoption of remote patient monitoring makes it possible for patients to receive quality care from medical practitioners in the comfort of their homes.
The remote patient monitoring market has risen drastically in use over the past ten years. As a result, new technologies have been developed and implemented that make RPM more of a reality to patients and healthcare providers than ever before.
The movement toward remote patient care was spurred by the rapid improvement in mobile technology, implementation of national healthcare reform, and the ever-increasing availability of wireless connectivity.
Table of Contents
- What is Remote Patient Monitoring?
- How Does Remote Patient Monitoring Work?
- Why is Remote Patient Monitoring Significant?
- Benefits of Remote Patient Monitoring
- Top 10 Remote Patient Monitoring Devices
- Top 10 Remote Patient Monitoring Companies
- CPT Codes for RPM by CMS
- Telehealth vs. RPM: What Is The Difference?
- RPM Reimbursement Rates
- What Do Patients Think About RPM?
- What Do Doctors Think About RPM?
- What are RPM Regulations?
- FAQS About RPM
What is Remote Patient Monitoring?
Remote Patient Monitoring (RPM) involves monitoring patients outside conventional clinical settings (in-home or remote areas) through innovative digital health technologies.
Incorporating the RPM system significantly increases engagement levels, thereby helping improve an individual’s quality of life. It allows patients to feel comfortable and help them manage their health independently. It helps increase access to care through telecommunications and minimize healthcare delivery costs.
Complications can be prevented through remote monitoring and analysis of physiological parameters. RPM enables early detection of deterioration, thereby decreasing hospitalizations, emergency department visits, and the duration of hospital stays.
How Does Remote Patient Monitoring Work?
Remote patient monitoring devices use digital technology for communications between patients and health care providers. Patients check themselves and record their physiological parameters at different intervals throughout the day. The collected data is then transmitted electronically to their clinicians or technicians.
Health care providers assess the information and make treatment recommendations to the patients from their nursing facilities, primary care offices, hospitals, intensive care units, or off-site monitoring centers. By continuously keeping a tab on each treatment protocol, care providers can ensure that the treatment provided is working and immediate alerts such as an alteration to prescriptions, admissions to care facility, or emergency care can be initiated if necessary.
Following the discharge of patients from the hospital or emergency department, the RPM device makes it possible for the care providers to continue monitoring and treatment plans, preventing them from leaving their homes.
When doctors can check physiological parameters, weight, symptoms, glucose, blood oxygen, and pulse from any place, they gather information more regularly and more reliably than they could at conventional clinical settings. Information exchange in real-time could be a lifesaver for high-risk patients and people with chronic conditions, disabilities, or mobility impairments.
Why is Remote Patient Monitoring Significant?
Remote patient monitoring has become an essential tool in the healthcare industry since it allows the care providers to constantly monitor patients outside of the traditional setting. It minimizes in-person visits to care facilities or hospitals and saves time and energy needed for healing.
RPM devices help build trust and transparency. It also provides a deeper understanding of conditions and treatments, allowing the users to take more control of their health care plans. When both the patient and the health care provider both have more knowledge, there is an overall improvement in the quality of care.
Connected healthcare is vital for managing chronic conditions, disabilities, and aging people with mobility impairments. It allows many people to feel comfortable and stay at home and fully engage in their care. It also helps reduce readmissions, need for hospitalization, or at least shorten hospital stays.
RPM can help provide more efficient and effective home care and disease management than traditional clinical care. It eliminates transportation costs and time from the patient’s schedule, making their life easier by avoiding inconveniences and stress. It also minimizes the less severe cases to show up at the facilities, increasing the bed space for emergency cases and patients with terminal illnesses and severe conditions.
Communication and data sharing have been proven to improve patient’s quality of care and quality of life and help reduce health care costs. Artificial intelligence and innovative monitoring technologies make it possible for all health care systems.
Benefits of Remote Patient Monitoring
The remote patient monitoring program effectively ensures improved quality and value-based care and decreases delivery costs. Implementation of RPM could be beneficial, including:
- Access to Healthcare: RPM allows patients to complete their basic health testing, and medical professionals are allowed to treat more patients.
- Improved Quality of Care: RPM allows patients and healthcare providers to access patient data, improving the overall quality of care.
- Management of Chronic Conditions: Patients living with chronic conditions such as hypertension, diabetes, heart failure, and obesity are often monitored through RPM. Caregivers can manage these conditions by assessing their physiological parameters and providing an appropriate treatment plan.
- Cost-Effective: The remote patient monitoring technology is an economical tool for patients and healthcare providers. For example, using the technology in an office setting can help prevent costly hospitalizations and reduce ER and physician visits by patients. Patients can access this tool at their convenience. It also increases patient compliance.
- Better Outcomes: Active engagement leads to better outcomes, and this is achieved when the patients have adequate resources to comfortably manage their condition and live a comfortable, active lifestyle.
- Minimize Hospital Visits: Remote patient monitoring technology enables patients to minimize frequent, costly visits to the hospital by allowing doctors to monitor their health regularly.
- Improved Detection Rates: Research has shown that the use of remote patient monitoring devices has helped reduce the duration of symptoms, reduce hospital readmissions, and increase detection rates. Remote patient monitoring is also able to detect changes in symptoms at an earlier stage than traditional methods. It also helps diagnose conditions that may require early treatment.
- Reduction in Emergency Department and Hospital Visits: RPM has been shown to decrease ER and hospital visits. According to the survey, 86% of pediatric asthma patients with monitoring devices at home have decreased emergency department visits by 66% per month compared to only 27% with conventional care.
- Education and Support: RPM provides high levels of education and support. Patients are provided with information about their health conditions daily.
- Assurance: Constant monitoring gives the patients peace of mind that the health care providers will identify any issues promptly.
Top 10 Remote Patient Monitoring Devices
Remote patient monitoring devices help track the progression of conditions such as chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, heart disease, diabetes, Alzheimer’s, etc. The following are the most significant RPM devices that aid in diagnosing and providing proper treatment care plan:
1. Blood Pressure Monitor
One of the vitals primarily checked is blood pressure. Blood pressure monitors systolic and diastolic pressures. Systolic pressure is measured as the heart beats and pushes blood through the arteries. Diastolic pressure is measured when the heart is resting and filling with blood. The normal blood pressure is 120/80.
A blood pressure machine is easy to use. The cuff is inflated with air until it squeezes the arm. The heart rate and blood flow are automatically calculated by measuring changes in the artery as it deflates.
Multiple readings are taken to report daily averages. Home monitoring can help early diagnosis of conditions such as diabetes, kidney dysfunction, heart failure that lead to high blood pressure, thus making healthcare delivery less stressful.
2. Glucose Monitor
Effective management of diabetes requires continuous monitoring of blood sugar. A single drop of blood is put on the test strip, and the glucose monitor displays the glucose level in the patient’s blood. The blood sugar test also helps track:
- Medication effects
- Impacts of diet and exercise on blood glucose
- Impacts of stress or other conditions on blood glucose levels
- Progress toward treatment plan
3. Anticoagulation Testing Devices
Patients with medical conditions such as deep vein thrombosis (DVT), pulmonary embolism, atrial fibrillation, or artificial heart valves are placed on anticoagulants like warfarin due to the risk of developing thromboembolism.
INR levels are measured at regular intervals to monitor the response to warfarin and if the dosing is appropriate.
A drop of blood is put on the strip, and the meter reads and measures the blood clotting time. The patient sends the gathered readings to the providers and awaits recommendations regarding the treatment plan.
4. Electrocardiography (ECG) Device
ECG machines help detect life-threatening issues related to the heart. It can capture symptoms of arrhythmia, coronary artery disease, myocardial infarction, and ST depression. Some devices even alert health caregivers regarding abnormalities in the cardiac chamber and drug toxicities.
These RPM devices record electric impulses of the heart and send them to the health care providers in real-time. Such accessible information can help caregivers to devise an early treatment plan to prevent further harm.
5. Pulse Oximeter
This device helps measure the oxygen saturation of an individual’s arterial blood in the fingers or earlobes. This information enables medical professionals to calculate the patient’s hematocrit, pulmonary artery pressure, and cardiac output.
The device resembles a small flashlight with two sensors attached to the end. One sensor is placed on the tip of the finger for measurement, while the other, serving as a reference, is placed on the nail so that it can account for fluctuations in blood volume.
The difference in the light absorption between the two wavelengths is used to compute arterial blood oxygen saturation. Two LEDs are used, which emit light at different wavelengths and reflect from tissue subsequently at different timescales.
This time difference is used to determine the ratio of light absorbed by the tissue. It is a measure of the amount of oxygenated blood flowing through an artery.
6. Medical Alert Systems
A medical alert system contains sensors, transmitters, and monitors used to warn of an impending or actual crisis that may require immediate attention. Independent seniors wear these devices for immediate care.
Some systems are designed to locate the patient and inform them what is going on and avoid dangerous situations. Patients can wear the devices over their necks or keep them in their pockets, and they can be triggered by low battery power or by a change in heart rate or breathing rate.
7. Maternity Care Monitoring
Maternity care monitoring is a way to provide the best possible care for pregnant women and their babies. The system ensures that mothers get the appropriate level of attention based on their individual needs.
Maternity Care Observing System (MCOS) is a program developed by the United States Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). Its goal is to help healthcare providers practice safer, evidence-based care. The MCOS system is similar to a case management system where providers and their staff can track patient activity out of the hospital, home, and community. This system has been shown to improve patient outcomes, hospital safety and decrease expenditures in large health systems.
It enables healthcare providers to better monitor patients’ progress and care after they leave the hospital. Managers can access detailed information for providing patient education about preventative actions post-discharge.
8. Pediatric At-Home Monitoring
The Pediatric At-home Checking Program (PAC) is a pediatric service delivered by PSM Health Group in partnership with the ACR. It provides inpatient consultations for pediatric patients (newborns to aged below 18 years) with experienced pediatric clinicians via video conference.
Children with complex medical needs must visit different caregivers for different needs, disrupting childhood in many ways. RPM devices allow families to track positive and negative effects. This information is recorded and reported to their clinicians right away. They can also track behavioral data on mood, sleep patterns, pain, and exercise to help manage behavioral challenges. The families can view the data presented in colorful graphs and charts and discuss it with their providers.
9. Heart Rate Monitors
The heart rate monitor keeps track of the patient’s heartbeats. These portable devices automatically record and send patient’s heartbeat data during exercise, stressful events, errands, and sleep to the care providers. These devices help caregivers detect both symptomatic and asymptomatic arrhythmias, atrial fibrillation after cardiac ablation.
After assessing the data, caregivers will provide care plans.
10. Smart Scale
A smart scale is a digital scale that patients can connect to an Android device and track weight in addition to measuring body fat, muscle mass, and bone density.
For instance, for patients with congestive heart failure, gaining a few pounds may signify water retention. When medical professionals receive this information, they can quickly act and prescribe diuretics, increase medication dose or call the patient for a visit.
This device is useful for obese patients who want to keep track of their progress. These scales track weight loss as it happens, and the care providers can determine the weight they have lost and how far they have come.
Losing weight too quickly can be due to multiple conditions. Smart scales report weight data to medical practitioners and may help with critical diagnosis.
Top 10 Remote Patient Monitoring Companies
In the healthcare industry, there is an ever-shrinking balance between quality and convenience. With recent advances in remote patient monitoring, it’s now possible to have a healthcare company monitor your health without leaving your home.
You can get a regular checkup by digitally connecting to a physician or other medical professional from your home, office, or other places.
The Healthcare industry has been witnessing a lot of connected health devices and remote patient monitoring technologies. Below is a list of top companies that offer remote patient monitoring services to connect hospitals with patients:
Ejenta enables remote monitoring of patients through artificial intelligence technology. Ejenta combines state-of-the-art data and telecommunication technologies to create novel patient monitoring solutions.
Ejenta has more than 25 customers, including hospitals, physician groups, clinics, and other healthcare providers throughout Sweden, Norway, and Russia.
The company’s platform is completely designed on the NASA licensed technology and research of the entire team and human activity that builds security and makes the work easier. It incorporates wearable and ambient sensors that collect real-time data.
2. ChroniSense Medical
ChroniSense Medical is a company with an innovative idea for remote patient monitoring. The company’s goal is to provide health care providers with real-time access to patient data and help them deliver quality care more efficiently.
Wearable technology is poised to significantly impact the healthcare industry. ChroniSense Medical develops such devices to monitor vital signs and other health factors without interfering with the patient’s daily activities inside or outside the home.
Their advanced sensors measure medical information from blood oxygen, ECG, blood pressure, cardiac output, and vascular resistance and transmit the data to health care providers in real-time. They can provide a highly robust data source necessary for chronic monitoring.
Medopad couples the information reported by the patient with clinical and genomics data. It provides actionable insight to improve treatment and health-economic outcomes. Medopad is MHRA registered, and CE marked.
Medopad offers a comprehensive range of products, including smartwatch and iPhone applications that support ECG and other clinical data transmissions. Medopad is a leading company with quality services and products and has retained its market position.
GYANT develops chat-based products that use artificial intelligence to gather and analyze patients’ medical histories. It also helps patients navigate through complex healthcare offerings. A user can receive disposition, self-care advice, or referral to the appropriate care.
GYANT’s AI collects patient charts for the health care provider, bringing the efficiency of in-person encounters or e-visits to telehealth and making the charting workload easier. After the encounter, they automate proactive outreach to the patient with follow-up protocols that are diagnosis-specific, pushing treatment plan adherence and improving outcomes. This software also serves perioperative settings to ensure patients prepare for surgeries and procedures properly.
5. Cardiomo, Inc.
Cardiomo works with professionals in all healthcare fields, including cardiologists, radiologists, and neurologists. The company currently has over 35 integrations with institutions ranging from large hospitals to large practices to small office settings for both outpatient and inpatient care.
The company works primarily with hospitals and doctors across the country and patients who need continual care.
The goal of Cardiomo is to make it easier for doctors to give the best care possible. The company has created a system that makes it easy for providers to view patient’s data and allows patients to access their data and communicate with the doctor about that data.
Their biosensors and AI Engine can predict heart events up to 2 hours before and provide life-saving warning signals to the patient, relatives, PCP, and cardiologist even before the event. They offer continuous monitoring with a consumer-friendly interface.
100Plus offers wearable devices that monitor and analyze user’s heart activity 24/7. In case of emergency, 100Plus will instantly warn the user, relatives, and emergency responders in real-time, facilitating immediate care delivery and potentially saving the user’s life.
Remote monitoring offers the convenience of monitoring patients when they are away from the doctor’s office. 100Plus is anticipating filling the gap in the market by applying modern technology and innovations to an old-fashioned solution.
iHealth offers mobile-based services at no cost for providing 24/7 health monitoring and care across America. In addition, the telehealth program features an online dashboard that provides real-time status updates, allowing clinicians to keep in touch with their patients.
iHealth is a unique and cost-effective service developed by a diverse team of healthcare professionals, highly experienced in telehealth program implementation and management. Their mobile personal healthcare products are easy to use, making it simple to accurately measure, track and share health vitals. The data gets automatically connected through the cloud.
iHealth provides services for people who cannot make hospital visits due to physical or financial constraints. Instead, registered patients can maintain a healthy lifestyle from the comfort of their own homes under the supervision of their primary care physician.
Binah.ai is an innovative health technology enterprise. It provides integrative and personalized care to patients through their mobile devices. They have released video-based health and wellness monitoring solutions.
Their service is implemented in hospitals, clinics, and at home via automated system monitoring; it helps ensure patients’ health with chronic conditions such as asthma, diabetes, and heart failure.
9. ContinUse Biometrics (Cu-Bx)
ContinUse Biometrics offers service that includes transferring medical records, risk assessment, and 24/7 physician response for emergency care cases.
ContinUse Patient Monitoring (CPM) eliminates the burden of patients being limited to specific hours of office visits. CPM providers are easily accessible from any device and can also be used as a virtual appointment room to schedule an in-person visit with the doctor.
ContinUse Patient Monitoring can be used in any medical setting to provide the patient with the health information they need. In addition, CPM has the flexibility of being able to be administered by a primary care physician, nurse practitioner, or specialist.
CPM is also used as a service for remote teaching in nursing homes and similar facilities. Nursing homes are familiar with CPM since many of them utilize it for patient care. Other institutions also use it for remote monitoring and supervision of patients on chronic medication schedules.
Vitls provides the latest in medical monitoring technology that enables real-time monitoring of hospital patients. Early detection of deterioration helps reduce the length of stay, treatment costs, and readmissions.
Vitls’ revolutionary platform enables healthcare providers to monitor patient’s vital signs continuously and remotely in a reliable manner without disturbance.
Top remote monitoring vendors use enhanced healthcare metrics, patient messaging, mobile device integration and in-home focused monitoring solutions.
CPT Codes for RPM by CMS
Current Practice Terminology (CPT) is a coding language created by the American Medical Association (AMA) that assigns codes to physician services. It is used for third-party and physician reimbursement.
AMA created the CPT coding systems to serve as a common language to describe medical procedures, diagnoses, and services. CPT codes are intended to describe physician services, policies, or diagnostic evaluations and must be used in conjunction with ICD-9-CM codes for diagnosis.
The official purpose of this coding system is to describe the nature of physician services provided on an inpatient or outpatient basis uniformly. In addition, CPT codes are used by both health insurance companies and government payers for reimbursement purposes.
There are four essential components to CPT coding:
- Procedure codes to describe the service provided
- Modifier codes to specify the circumstances of the procedure (e.g., unassisted birth)
- A code to identify the physician who performed the service (called a medical supervision indicator)
- A code for any necessary pre-procedure preparation (called a pre-procedure indicator)
The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) have instituted CPT codes for RPM. The codes are broken down into three categories: Setting up RPM, data collection by the device, and review of patient data.
CPT codes for the provision of RPM include:
- CPT Code 99453: Remote monitoring of physiologic parameters such as blood pressure, weight, respiratory rate, heart rate; initial setup and patient education on monitoring equipment utilization. Must not report code 99453 for a monitoring process of fewer than 16 days.
- CPT Code 99454: Devices supplied with everyday recordings or transmission of programmed alerts every 30 days.
- CPT Code 99457: Remote monitoring of physiologic parameters, interactive communication with the patient by clinical staff/physician/other qualified healthcare professionals, first 20 minutes.
- CPT Code 99458: Spending additional time on a particular patient communication or data after initial 20 minutes.
- CPT Code 99091: Collection and review of patient data by physicians or QHCPs, minimum of 30 minutes, once every 30 days.
Telehealth vs. RPM: What Is The Difference?
The telehealth world has been developing rapidly since the introduction of the concept in the 1990s. With the advancement of technologies and long-distance communication, patients can now receive medical care from a remote location through video and teleconferencing.
Remote patient monitoring is emerging that uses specific technology to provide a more convenient experience for patients receiving medical care. Telehealth refers to the operation of medical services performed by healthcare professionals (HCPs) who are not physically present at the patient’s location.
Remote patient monitoring (RPM) has been defined as “the use of a video-based system to provide remote health care services by HCPs who are not physically present and, thus, able to converse and interact with the patient while providing the care.”
While telehealth has been around for decades, it has only just become mainstream in recent years. As a result, telehealth has seen a massive increase in the number of patients treated by HCPs from other locations.
Studies show that the number of patients using telehealth services regularly has increased to approximately 15 percent each year since 2005. Telehealth providers can be found all across the country, and the number of providers has had a massive increase in recent years.
While this increase has undoubtedly been beneficial for patients, it is essential to understand how this can affect your business. While telehealth services are easily accessible, they do not have the same standards of care maintained by physically present providers with a patient.
It is essential to understand that RPM and telehealth services both have their benefits. For example, RPM is beneficial in providing care for patients who would otherwise be unable to receive adequate healthcare due to their physical condition or geographic location. First, however, people need to understand what makes RPM different from telehealth.
While patient monitoring and other telehealth services are very similar, the initial setup and provisioning of these services can differ. In addition, Telehealth systems tend to have a smaller system footprint than RPM systems, meaning that providers or clinics with limited resources can use telehealth services without purchasing a large amount of equipment.
There are no physical components associated with the infrastructure of this type of telehealth service. Instead, telehealth systems are typically web-based systems hosted on server technology accessed remotely from a patient’s location.
RPM Reimbursement Rates
We’ve scoured data from hospitals and remote patient monitoring companies nationwide to compile this list of average reimbursement rates at various stages of recovery.
The average reimbursement rate at three months post-stroke for a remote patient visit ranges from $68 to $109 per visit.
An average length of visit of 40 minutes translates into $11 to $19 per minute. Therefore, the average hourly fee is $54 per hour or $9 to $14 per minute.
What Do Patients Think About RPM?
Remote patient monitoring allows healthcare professionals to access a patient’s medical data remotely. It is done by using a remote terminal where the patient can view their physiological data.
The patient can also add notes and answer questions that are easily accessible for the healthcare professional. Despite its benefits, patients have found some issues with this form of medical care and find it difficult to get accustomed to an unfamiliar interface. Patients who use remote patient monitoring have voiced their frustrations regarding the complexity of the interface and the privacy issues that arise from this form of monitoring.
One study found that patients felt uncomfortable with how much sensitive information was being collected. For example, blood glucose levels and heart rate were viewed as private, despite being crucial for healthcare professionals.
What Do Doctors Think About RPM?
With technology evolving rapidly, doctors and nurses have more power to diagnose patients remotely. This article also explores what these remote monitoring programs can achieve and who benefits the most from them.
The remote patient monitor is a device that allows patients to transmit data from their homes to a doctor through a wireless data connection. The information can be captured and processed on the fly, which saves time by eliminating the need for doctors to travel for these visits, allowing them more time with their patients in their offices.
Remote patient monitoring is suggested for medical staff shortages, continued monitoring of patients after hospital discharge, patients with chronic illnesses, disabilities, and impaired mobility.
Many doctors were enrolled in Remote Patient Monitoring Program during the COVID-19 pandemic. The equipment was simple enough to operate by anyone with a basic understanding of computers and related electronics since most people understand how such devices work.
This process saves the doctors’ time and can treat more patients quickly in the best possible manner.
What are RPM Regulations?
RPM systems are complex and require a team of experts to be in place. If you’re looking for a remote patient monitoring service, here are some of the rules and regulations that will apply.
Although the system may appear simple on the surface, there are a lot of moving parts. Remote patient monitoring service requires health care providers to have a deep understanding of medical devices and software.
It also takes strong communication skills to ensure the patients are comfortable with the technology. Finally, remote patient monitoring requires health care providers to be experts in HIPAA compliance.
These rules and regulations exist to protect patient privacy, and without proper training, it’s easy to violate the law accidentally.
FAQS About RPM
Who can provide remote patient monitoring services?
Physicians and other qualified healthcare professionals can deliver Remote Patient Monitoring services. To become a certified provider, you must have a current medical license and pass a comprehensive background check.
The Healthcare Services Manager can advise providers on how to become certified and qualified RPM providers.
Who can receive remote patient monitoring services?
Any patient can receive these services. Patients with chronic illnesses, disabilities, and impaired mobility are most likely to benefit from RPM.
Where is the data stored for remote patient monitoring?
The RPM data stored will depend upon the device. The data is generally stored in one of three locations:
- The device’s memory if the process is on a PC/laptop. However, if a device logs into an organization’s network and has restricted access to its local machine, it would likely upload its RPM data to its central data repositories such as electronic health record systems or personal health records.
- A removable storage card that may be either approved or not approved for medical purposes
- A wireless flash drive containing the data.
There are limits on the length of data storage. It is typically about an hour of recorded RPM data for most devices, though some devices allow for more extended periods.
What are the specialties that offer remote patient monitoring services?
Specialties that frequently adopt RPM include cardiology, endocrinology, pulmonology, gastroenterology, and bariatrics.
What disease states are managed through remote patient monitoring?
Remote patient monitoring has been utilized for several decades, and recently remote patient monitoring has grown to include management of disease states.
Patients can monitor their vital signs, including blood pressure, heart rate, temperature, and respiratory rate, remotely from any location with internet access.
Common disease states include diabetes, hypertension, congestive heart failure (CHF), chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), and obesity.
What regulations must be followed when creating an RPM program?
Providers must follow HIPAA security and privacy regulations and ensure compliance of the RPM devices and technology with FDA standards. Providers must ensure that their RPM programs follow the latest coding and billing rules.
How to ensure the RPM program is HIPAA compliant?
There is nothing more vital than the security of patients’ data. Remote patient monitoring programs are designed to capture EEG and ECG signals in real-time from patients at home, making it easier for doctors to monitor their care remotely.
The remote monitoring programs can also be used as a way for the doctor to keep track of the patient’s progress and provide feedback on the treatment care plan. However, without careful planning and consideration, an organization could solve problems with storing information on these patients’ health information.
For example, if the healthcare organization is not HIPAA compliant, then depending on how the data is stored, anyone can access patient information or other forms of communication between the patient and doctor.
It is essential for health care organizations to maintain the privacy and security of patient information for HIPAA compliance.
Who can request and bill for RPM administrations?
The healthcare providers must be certified by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services to bill for remote patient monitoring devices (RPMs).
Modes of administration include:
- The administration is facilitated by a health care professional who is not present with the patient and can only provide assistance remotely.
- Remote patient monitoring devices (RPMs) provide information regarding patients’ health and wellbeing if the patient cannot be immediately accessed by a health care professional. These devices are typically used to help seniors with Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, stroke, or other impairments.
- Providers who do not have an RPM billing code will be billed via their existing coding program.
- CMS has found that when providers do not have an RPM billing code, they often bill using multiple codes for other service types.
What sort of RPM gadgets fit the bill for Medicare purposes?
Remote patient monitoring allows providers to monitor patients from their home or office comfort by tracking their vital signs, medication compliance, and any other information that may be pertinent.
Today, there are many tools available for remote patient monitoring, including pills with sensors that track whether they have been taken, smartwatches with biosensors that measure heart rate or blood pressure, and GPS devices for measuring movement.
The most common type of device for remote patient monitoring is wearable smartwatches. These devices can measure blood pressure, heart rate, activity levels, calories burned (among other things) and send real-time data to your phone for easy charting and tracking.
Additionally, some apps allow you to send alerts to patients if their vitals are running low or high or if they haven’t taken their medication.
The most popular device is the Fitbit. The Fitbit is roughly the size of a standard wristwatch and can be worn on both wrists. Patients can wear either one or both Fitbits to track their activity levels, heart rate, and other vital signs.
The benefits of RPM are becoming apparent as more and more patients have started to participate in these programs. It can reduce trips to the health care facility, fewer co-pays, minimize transportation costs and less time away from work or loved ones.
RPM also reduces the need for hospitalization, reduces hospital readmissions, can reduce the length of stay after hospital admission, reduces healthcare costs for the patient and provider, and allows aged or disabled individuals to stay in their homes, avoiding the need for skilled nursing facilities.