Who’s Paying for Remote Patient Monitoring?

PAYINGFORRPM

Like so many things in medicine, a remote patient monitoring system could be financed a number of ways. And, as the demand and understanding of remote patient monitoring grows, no doubt will the number and types of payers footing the bill.

For Health Numeric, many of our clients are home health providers looking to provide a higher standard of care to their patients while reducing the amount of time their staff spends on travel. Because our system is a complete Care Circle, everyone from the patient’s children to his or her home nurse to the referring physician is linked together. The personalization allows the right people to be notified when self-recorded readings are outside of a set range. This system makes an ideal addition to the services of a home health company.

However, a number of other groups are becoming involved with paying for or reimbursing remote patient monitoring—including Medicare. Utilizing the code for chronic condition management, Medicare will reimburse for up to 20 minutes per patient per month of non-face to face appointments. Even now, some private insurers are following in the footsteps of Medicare in this area, but not many.

As we move from the fee for service model of care into the ACA, it’s inevitable that more of these telehealth solutions (including remote patient monitoring) will be relied upon by hospitals, physicians, and insurance companies to reduce hospital readmission rates. Health Numeric can be a key part of the team when patients return from a hospital stay and need to be monitored for a chronic condition. Click here to learn more about the Care Circle and the ROI of remote patient monitoring from our white paper.

Looking at Short-Term and Long-Term RPM

HN_long_vs_short_proof_v2Remote patient monitoring (RPM) can be used in a variety of ways to monitor many different types of people and for a range of purposes. From relatively short-term engagements to lifelong monitoring, there are many individuals who could benefit from the use of remote patient monitoring.

The most popular use of this technology today is to monitor patients who have recently been discharged from the hospital and are struggling to manage a chronic illness. Frequently, these are individuals with COPD, diabetes, hypertension, high cholesterol, or obesity who are trying to avoid readmittance to the hospital. RPM gives patients the benefits of constant monitoring without being in the hospital or daily visits from a home care nurse. Early identification of complications allow these patients to seek medical help from their primary care physician before their condition worsens to the point of needing the emergency room.

This type of short-term monitoring generally lasts between 30 and 90 days, until the patient is stable and least likely to need hospital readmittace. Health Numeric helps home health companies set up remote patient monitoring for these situations. The benefits for RPM for home health companies include: lowering the number of patients readmitted to the hospital, giving staff a tool to monitor patients with less travel, and improving patient involvement in their own care.

We see movement in the RPM arena for companies to branch into more long-term monitoring opportunities. From employers to insurance companies, many groups involved in paying for health care will be looking for ways to improve health and prevent chronic illness. Individuals are already using technology as a tool to take control of their health—from heart monitors to sleep tracking, FitBits to Bluetooth connected bathroom scales, the public is moving in the right direction. Health Numeric is working with different partners to find ways to maximize the use of the individual tools, as well as pulling all the data together in a usable format.

This newer application of long-term monitoring could potentially go way beyond the 90 day window of current monitoring. Individuals could use RPM to reach weight loss, blood sugar, cholesterol, or other goals, or to maintain their current status. Specific monitoring could last years for individuals with genetic markers or risks. There are many applications for this type of RPM, and for a variety of groups looking to lower medical costs.

Contact us today to find out how Health Numeric can help you with your short or long-term RPM needs.