Remote patient monitoring (RPM) is proving to be a cost-effective solution to bettering patient health as it becomes more popular in a post-COVID-19 world. One of the biggest reasons for this popularity is RPM’s contribution to better value-based care (VBC), which encourages better quality of care for patients at lower costs.
If you’re a healthcare provider curious about using RPM, you may be wondering—what are the financial benefits of remote patient monitoring, and how much is it actually going to cost us in the long run? Keep reading to find out.
What Are the Benefits of Using RPM?
Improved quality of care, increased healthcare access, fewer ER visits—RPM offers many benefits to patients and providers. These advantages are what make RPM a cost-effective option for engaging patients to improve their health. Other benefits include:
- Reduction in hospital readmissions - Monitoring a patient in their home environment has proven to reduce the need for a trip back to the hospital. A recent study of COVID-19 patients, for example, found that engagement with RPM was associated with decreased odds of emergency room or hospital readmission.A reduction in readmissions is particularly important in achieving Accountable Care Organization (ACO) goals or caring for patients on a Medicare Advantage (MA) insurance plan.
- Time savings and increased efficiency for medical professionals - Think of how patient monitoring works in a typical setting. With blood pressure, for example, a nurse would have to take time for an in-person appointment, arrange the cuff on the patient’s arm, gather readings, and input those readings into their records. Now imagine the patient uses RPM. The patient easily submits their own blood pressure, sending their vital signs to their physician, meaning providers can gather health data on hundreds or thousands of patients simultaneously. Furthermore, the data is automatically interpreted and ranked so that providers are automatically alerted to patients with abnormal readings.
- Faster access to data - With RPM, physicians can observe patient data in near real-time. With such easy and quick access to this kind of information, medical professionals can make better, more-informed recommendations when it comes to their patient’s treatment plan.
These benefits are only some among many. At Harmonize Health, we’ve witnessed even more exciting signs of RPM cost savings, like a 40% average decrease in vital fluctuations over time and a 50% reduction in patient bed days. But let’s cut to the chase—how does this translate into real-world cost efficacy?
How Does Remote Patient Monitoring Reduce Costs?
RPM reduces costs on both the patient and provider side. For patients, RPM gives medical providers more thorough insight into patient health, resulting in better care plans and fewer visits to the doctor. For providers, RPM contributes to value-based care (VBC), which is a healthcare model that continues to grow in popularity. When a provider has a VBC agreement with an insurance company (for example, they accept MA plan covered patients), or they are a member of an ACO, they can benefit financially for reducing unnecessary care.
To further illustrate these cost savings, let’s more closely examine the study from earlier on remote patient monitoring for discharged COVID-19 patients. Patients recorded symptoms and used a pulse oximeter and thermometer to self report O2 saturation and temperature on a daily basis. Any abnormal results were noted and assessed by a group of nurses. Those that participated were at about half as likely to be readmitted to the hospital or ER.
Now, couple this knowledge with the concept of value-based care. If a medical provider is able to reduce readmission rates, they have evidence to show health insurance payers that they are improving patient health and reducing post-COVID-19 incidents. Insurance companies pay the provider based on these quality outcomes, meaning the proof of improved patient health from RPM translates to increased provider cost savings.
What Is the Cost of Remote Patient Monitoring?
Remote patient monitoring pricing models will vary, as they are dependent on the devices used, associated RPM platform or app costs, and the participation efforts of the patient. Here are a couple RPM cost analyses studies to give you a better idea of the upfront costs:
- One study found the average cost for an enrolled RPM patient in general is $1,000-2,000.
- Another study found that the average cost per participant in a three-month program monitoring discharged patients with type 2 diabetes was $3,207 per participant.
When you evaluate the cost of RPM, you must also consider the overall savings in the long run. For example, providers that use Harmonize Health RPM can save $7,000 or more per patient per year when compared to patients not using Harmonize Health.
What Is the Future of RPM?
RPM is only going to become more commonplace as time goes on. According to Research and Markets, the global RPM market is projected to reach $175.2 billion by 2027, with a high compound annual growth rate of 26.7%. Insider Intelligence estimates that 45.1 million US patients will use RPM tools in 2022, a sharp rise from the 29.1 million users in 2020.
Would you like to get in on this cost-effective healthcare solution? Check out Harmonize Health, an cutting-edge RPM platform that offers:
- In-app messaging for easy communication
- Engagement reminders to help patients stay on track
- Real-time video calls for when you need that face-to-face interaction
- Bluetooth biometric remote monitoring to provide higher accuracy and consistent results
If you’d like to see a 61% reduction in hospital admissions, 43% reduction in ER visits, and $7,000+ cost savings per patient per year, Harmonize Health is the answer you’ve been searching for. Learn more here about the cost savings and other benefits you can expect with our platform.