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Remote Patient Monitoring is a way of caring for patients in a contactless way that utilizes connected health monitoring devices and software that allows for patients to share their data such as vital measurements to be automatically available to their care provider.
Healthcare has been recently benefiting from technological innovation and Remote Patient Monitoring (RPM) has been one of the most exciting and impactful technologies benefiting medical practices and their patients. Although new reimbursements implemented in 2019 by the CMS, that made Medicare patients eligible for attractive reimbursements tied to Remote Patient Monitoring service now covered by numerous CPT codes, it was COVID-19 that accelerated the need for a virtual care model that would allow doctors not just to see a patient but to also diagnose and treat.
What is remote patient monitoring?
Remote Patient Monitoring (RPM) is a way of caring for patients outside a hospital or medical practice setting. It usually involves a medical device to measure patient’s vitals and a software that allows such measurements to be delivered to the care provider automatically. Remote patient monitoring is a form of virtual care model that gives medical staff an opportunity to track the patient’s health without the need for a face-to-face visit, appointments or phone calls.
How does remote patient monitoring work?
Most remote patient monitoring solutions utilize connected medical health devices that the patient uses to measure vitals and/or apps to provide health feedback, communicate mood and lifestyle data such as food or medication compliance. This patient generated data is then electronically transferred into a software, database or electronic health record system, usually real time or near-real time, for the dedicated clinical staff to access and evaluate.
An example of remote patient monitoring service
An example of remote patient monitoring would be a diabetic patient measuring their blood sugar levels throughout the day. Patient with a remote patient monitoring service would use a connected device capable of instantly sharing the measurement result with a dedicated care provider without the patient’s need to have a blood sugar measurement taken at the doctor’s office or a hospital.
What are the benefits of remote patient monitoring?
Remote patient monitoring benefits are many, for both the patients receiving remote patient monitoring service, and the care provider utilizing remote patient monitoring software. The benefits for remote patient monitoring for medical practices include additional revenue stream due to recently introduced CPT codes for remote patient monitoring services that make caring for patients remotely an attractive alternative to face-to-face visits from a financial side. COVID-19 pandemic also highlighted the safety benefit of remote patient monitoring as it allows for a better examination of the patient’s health compared to a telehealth visit done via a video call, all possible from the comfort of the patient's home. A recent study published by the American Health Association pointed to the improved patient health outcome benefit as remote patient monitoring of hypertensive patients cut their risk of a stroke by half. Convenience, better access to care and better quality of care (driven by the continuous nature of remote patient monitoring as opposed to sporadic in-person care) are the top drivers behind the popularity of remote patient monitoring amongst patients.
What are the disadvantages of remote patient monitoring?
The main disadvantages of remote patient monitoring include a lack of suitability across patient population as not all patients can be cared for using remote patient monitoring and not all health conditions land themselves for remote patient care. However, remote patient monitoring as an addition to in-person care offers many benefits to both patients enrolled in RPM programs and the care providers offering remote patient care services.
Remote patient monitoring is undeniably rising in popularity and demand. For patients, being able to receive timely care from the safety and comfort of their home is now expected and any medical practice not offering their patients a convenient way to access their doctor might see sharp decline in rating and patient satisfaction. No doubt services like Teladoc attracted more patients during COVID-19 pandemic as consumers got accustomed to high quality service from their care providers as they receive from their food delivery service or a modern banking partner.
Lara Health offers an advanced remote patient monitoring platform designed to simplify remote care while unlocking the most attractive reimbursements. To learn more about Lara Health platform, book a demo with our team or contact us for a quick call.