How many more patients could you care for if you had fewer in-person appointments? The answer is probably a lot. The average in-person healthcare provider appointment time takes about 121 minutes. Nearly 16 minutes of that is just to document details from the visit. Remote patient monitoring (RPM) can give you some of that time back so you have fewer appointments and less documentation to do.
The place of service for remote patient monitoring is in the patient’s own home. RPM involves a patient taking their own vital measurements and sending them to their medical team. This can save healthcare providers money and even time in the long run.
Remote patient monitoring companies typically provide the equipment to make this possible. Obviously it takes several parties to make RPM work. This blog aims to give more detail about each group.
Who Can Perform RPM?
There are three parties involved in the performance of remote patient monitoring: the remote patient monitoring companies, the patients, and the healthcare providers. Let’s take a closer look at each of their roles.
Remote Patient Monitoring Companies
RPM companies provide the tools needed for remote patient monitoring. These tools include the devices that take measurements for the patients (such as scales, blood pressure monitoring, and spirometers) as well as the apps or websites that record and transmit the data these devices collect. Once the patient receives the necessary equipment, the RPM company will then walk the patients through their configuration and use.
After the patient starts inputting their information, the RPM companies will then collect and analyze this information to send on to the patients’ medical team. If the team finds that next steps should be taken or the patient needs to communicate with the team, the RPM companies will provide that avenue for communication.
The patients’ role in the RPM is pretty simple. Once they consent to doing it, they merely have to use their devices to measure vitals and record them in the app or website. With Harmonize Health’s platform, that process takes less than three minutes a day on average. The patient should also communicate any other health issues beyond what the devices capture to their healthcare providers.
The healthcare providers’ first steps in the RPM process are to set up policies and procedures related to remote patient monitoring and then receive consent from patients who qualify. From there, medical teams will monitor the patients’ vital sign information and make decisions on necessary next steps they need to take. Such steps may include recommending prescription changes or scheduling an appointment with patients.
Who Can Bill for RPM?
Both the remote patient monitoring companies and the healthcare providers can bill for RPM. Independent diagnostic testing facilities cannot. There are several rules related to billing, especially if a patient is on Medicare. According to the Association of American Medical Colleges’ (AAMC) Medicare RPM billing guidelines of 2021, the initial setup can only be billed once during a 30-day period even if several medical devices are provided. Whoever provides the setup and training with the devices can bill for this appointment, meaning that if the RPM company does it, they will be the ones to receive that money. A patient cannot be billed for setup if monitoring doesn’t last 16 days or more. Patients can also only be billed by one medical professional at a time within a 30-day period, and that professional can only bill once within that period.
At Harmonize Health, we provide everything that your patients might need to monitor their vitals, including necessary measuring devices and even smartphones if they don’t have one. And our services are all-inclusive. You only have to pay one fee to get access to everything, so the remote patient monitoring cost is much lower than if patients came in person.
What Are the Requirements for RPM?
There are several requirements that must be met for remote patient monitoring to work properly. First, the patient’s conditions should be those that can be monitored from home. Some of the most common conditions that can be tracked through RPM include:
- Heart conditions
- Sleep apnea
- Weight loss or gain
The medical team should also explain to patients why using RPM is ideal for them and give them an overview of how it works. To do that, the medical staff should have training in how to do remote patient monitoring best practices. Harmonize Health can train medical staff within a few hours to get your RPM program running as soon as possible.
From there, it’s important to determine if the patient’s insurance will cover RPM and, if so, for how much. It should also be discussed up front the best methods for communication between each involved party, from the RPM company to the patient to the healthcare provider.
Set Up RPM With Harmonize Health
What if you could care for 250-300 patients at a time, and care for them well, instead of 50? With Harmonize Health, you can! Our customers have seen a 61% decrease in hospital admissions and a 43% increase in emergency room visits. And you can have all this at a fraction of the cost and time of in-person appointments. Contact us today to see how you can incorporate remote patient monitoring into your patient care.