As the use of telehealth exploded during the COVID-19 pandemic, physicians began to use remote patient monitoring (RPM) to help treat patients. RPM provides patients with at-home medical devices that capture vital signs and electronically transmits the data to the physician’s office on a daily basis. Although the pandemic brought popularity to telehealth and shed light on the benefits of RPM, it is not a fad. RPM is transforming healthcare.
So what’s it all about? Here are the ABC’s of Remote Patient Monitoring.
Ability to monitor patients’ vital signs on a daily basis.
While providers might be able to see their patients on a tablet or other device in a telehealth visit, they are unable to monitor their vital signs. RPM can detect high blood pressure, low oxygen levels, increase/ decrease in weight possibly due to medications, arrhythmias, high temperature, elevated blood glucose levels and more.
Be able to connect patients to their care teams.
RPM can connect patients to their care teams, providing the real-time data needed to control symptom and disease progression. It is very beneficial for patients with chronic illnesses like congestive heart failure, diabetes and COPD. RPM is also useful for patients who are considered to be “moderate to severe” in their disease state or who have comorbidities, such as hypertension, obesity or coronary artery disease.
CMS lists more than 70 disease states for remote patient monitoring.
Before COVID-19, Medicare and Medicaid only covered remote patient monitoring for patients with chronic conditions such as cancer or diabetes. Due to the pandemic, however, they extended coverage to patients with acute conditions, such as knee replacement, or to monitor respiration in someone infected with COVID-19. The largest patient volumes among the 70 disease states that CMS lists for RPM are Congestive Heart Failure (CHF), Diabetes Mellitus (DM) and Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD).
Want to know more about the Who, What, When and …Why Now about RPM? Check out WITHmyDOC’s Jorge Rodriguez answering those questions in a recent EXPERT on CALL article in MD Life.