Does your medical practice offer remote patient monitoring? In 2020 Accenture conducted a study of 120 oncologists and neurologists across Europe, the US, and Asia on remote patient monitoring (RPM). According to the study, remote patient monitoring was being used for one in 10 patients. However, the surveyed physicians expected that number to double by 2025, with 87% of respondents saying RPM would become a significant part of the patient experience.
As per a 2021 report by InsiderIntelligence.com, the remote patient monitoring market will grow from 45.1 million users in 2022 to 70.6 million users (which is 26.2% of the US population) by 2025. That is a user base growth of 56% in just three years. Refer to the graph below.
Factors Driving RPM as the New Standard of Patient Care
Today RPM is perceived mainly as a way for early detection of therapeutic side effects and the means to deliver care by optimizing the utilization of a medical practice’s resources. However, over the next few years, the focus of RPM will shift towards early detection of disease progression and improving the quality of life for patients.
These are the top factors driving the growth in RPM in US healthcare:
- Incidence of chronic diseases: A significant contributor to the growth of remote patient monitoring is the increase in the incidence of chronic diseases. As per a 2018 CDC research, almost 52% of adults in the US now suffer from at least one chronic condition, with 27% suffering from two or more medical conditions.
- Role in CCM: Remote patient monitoring is highly effective in chronic care management, especially in complex and critical diseases like diabetes, hypertension, and heart disease. These medical conditions are the top killers of Americans and the biggest drivers of medical costs for patients. The remote monitoring can be used to render emergency care for the elderly, whose heart rate data and lack of movement levels (within the house) can be used to create health scare triggers.
- Role in TCM: A most promising area of remote patient monitoring use is in post-discharge recovery at home via transitional care management. RPM allows physicians to monitor adverse drug events, hospital-acquired infections, and post-procedural complications. For medical practices and large hospitals, the proactive monitoring helps avoid readmission penalties, which can otherwise result in a loss of revenues of thousands (in some cases millions) of dollars each year.
- RPM Technology Development: The evolution of remote patient monitoring technology is a significant reason for the growing use of RPM. Wearables have evolved to automatically transfer patient information to the provider for faster interventions. Also, cloud-based RPM data storage means that patient data is accessible to providers anytime from any device and any location.
- RPM Specific CPT Codes: Another driver for RPM growth is the creation of new CPT codes that reimburse RPM care and chronic care management (CCM). RPM care can be provided by a clinician other than the provider, which means that the provider can see more patients, making RPM an even more attractive proposition from the perspective of medical practice revenue growth. The reimbursement rates for RPM have increased significantly in the year 2022. The CPT codes for RPM are 98975, 98976, 98977, 98980, and 98981.
The Accenture study found that the single most significant barrier to adoption was providers wanting clinical evidence for the value of RPM solutions. Another challenge is the number of RPM companies in the market – some offer devices, some offer software, and others offer both. It can be challenging to determine the adaptability of an RPM solution to a particular hospital system and provider workflow.
If you’re in the market for an RPM solution, then you must:
(a) define your practice’s priorities
(b) determine the level of customization required, and
(c) assess the scalability of the technology to meet the future demands of your RPM program.
If you own a medical practice, working with an experienced medical billing partner can alleviate a big chunk of practice administrative burdens and improve revenues. Contact us today for more information on RPM billing, other medical billing and coding, credentialing, and patient billing.