Remote Patient Monitoring (RPM) is gaining recognition as a proven method to reduce Hospital Readmissions. So much so that CMS has released CPT codes specifically meant for reimbursement of these services. If you haven’t had a chance to review the new codes – check out my previous blog post that explains the different codes and what services can billed under them.
Unlike telehealth, which simply provides another access point for episodic treatment or utilization of healthcare services, Remote Patient Monitoring is a platform that provides continuous engagement between patients and providers. Think of telehealth as another single point of interaction in a patient’s record or chart whereas Remote Patient Monitoring provides a continuous stream of data and interaction that exponentially increases everything from communication to the collection of diagnostic information. Coupled with the correct algorithms to monitor health metrics and care coordinators to engage patients, Remote Patient Monitoring is a game changer in comparison to a simple remote office visit facilitated by telehealth services.
Simply put, Remote Patient Monitoring allows providers to collect and access diagnostic and compliance information linked to a patient’s specific needs for care management, giving them the power to make decisions that are timelier and better informed. What’s more, the new CPT codes mentioned above, allow providers to utilize vendor partnerships and clinical staff to perform much of the work analyzing, engaging and educating patients which may be enough of an intervention to slow disease progression or prevent an admission or readmission.
Looking at just diabetic patients, the peer reviewed journal American Nurse Today noted that “patients with diabetes account for approximately 480,958 hospital in-patient stays per year with a 30-day readmission rate of 97,784, accounting for a 20.3% hospital readmission rate.”
Now consider, many of those admissions and readmissions are caused by out-of-control glucose levels, inactivity, compliance with medications and adherence to diet restrictions. A diabetic patient on an annual or semiannual follow-up with their primary care provider will only offer that practitioner one or two snap-shots of their health and an often-inaccurate account of their compliance with the prescribed treatment plan. This doesn’t provide the PCP with much of an opportunity to engage, educate, correct or intervene in a timely manner, often leading the non-compliant or progressing diabetic to seek care in another setting such as an urgent care or emergency room. Depending on the severity of the episodic condition or disease progression this can lead to an admission and/or readmission.
Put that same set of diabetic patients in a remote patient monitoring program with the correct set of diagnostic and compliance measures collected and couple it with an algorithm that alerts providers to negative changes in health metrics, and you create a new level of engagement that allows you to correct the patient’s compliance and treatment plan. This gives you the opportunity to help the patient avoid an ER visit, admission or progression of their disease. And for diabetic patients, that may mean avoiding further risk or complications associated with vision loss, neuropathy, infections, kidney disease and heart disease.
HealthKOS is an end-to-end solution that was developed by doctors to improve patient engagement, compliance and outcomes. HealthKOS™ provides direct savings to the physician and healthcare organizations both in time and money as well as improving patient outcomes.
What makes HealthKOS™ different is that it utilizes automated algorithms, real-time data, and quality metrics to involve patients in their own care, as well as keeping healthcare providers and family constantly informed. HealthKOS™ allows the healthcare team to monitor patient progress outside the practice office, leading to timely interventions, preventing disease progression and unnecessary hospitalizations.