When it comes to defining the benefits of remote patient monitoring, it’s safe to say that everyone involved wins. As we’ve discussed here at the CareSimple Blog, RPM offers healthcare providers significant advantages when treating patients with chronic illnesses. It also helps Medicare and commercial payers by better monitoring high-risk patients in a way that can reduce costly hospitalizations and readmissions.
But most impressive of all may be the benefits of remote patient monitoring for patients. In addition to to letting them manage their condition from the comfort of their own home, RPM has also been shown to deliver an “increased quality of life for patients,” according to a systematic review of clinical studies.
That’s just the beginning of why demand for more patients across the United States are demanding access to RPM — and why the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) is supporting that demand with more incentives for providers to adopt and implement remote care technology. With that in mind, here’s a closer look at 10 key ways that patients benefit from remote patient monitoring.
10 Benefits of Remote Patient Monitoring for Patients
RPM patient benefit #1: The comfort of at-home care.
Especially since the Covid-19 pandemic, the chance to receive hospital-quality care at home is transforming the nature of patient care. Especially for those with difficult chronic conditions like chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), cardiovascular conditions or advanced kidney disease, the ability to receive the bulk of the treatment and clinical interaction from the comfort of home is a huge boost in convenience, which can also help to boost patient satisfaction.
Furthermore, many chronic care patients are seniors or potentially physically disabled. For these people, the option to skip costly, inconvenient and potentially impossible hospital visits in favor of at-home care isn’t just convenient benefit of remote patient monitoring technology, but a potentially life-saving innovation, too.
RPM patient benefit #2: A higher quality of healthcare.
With the power of continuous or near-continuous monitoring, RPM also offers a superior way of tracking essential patient data, giving providers a better understanding of each patient’s condition at any given time.
This emphasis on timelier, more active care is also reflected in other recent models of care that use RPM devices and technology. For instance, the CPT Codes for principal care management, a care model that often uses RPM, specifically covers “frequent adjustments in the medication regimen.”
Directly beneficial to providers looking to improve health outcomes, this is even better news for the patients who depend on that care to stay healthy and out of the hospital. For chronic care patients who may be worried about their future, receiving care from doctors and clinicians who are better informed and prepared to come to their assistance with immediate action can be a huge source of comfort.
RPM patient benefit #3: A new opportunity for self-care.
Once a barrier to telehealth, computer literacy rates are at all-time highs today, even among seniors. An AARP national study released in 2020 found that 77% of older Americans use a smartphone. Not only do most folks of all ages have some kind of mobile device like a tablet or phone, but many millions also regularly engage in self-care activities with step monitors and other popular apps.
The best platforms for remote patient monitoring include interface options that are easy and intuitive for patients to use. Using a browser website or a smartphone app, they can keep tabs on the details of their own care, every day. For some patients, that creates enthusiasm and engagement that were difficult to achieve with more traditional care models.
Some people will always remain reluctant or unable to use technology, no matter how user friendly. Luckily, new devices like cellular-enabled blood pressure monitors provide an option that works out of the box, without the need for a smartphone, tablet or other device, extending the benefit of remote patient monitoring to even more patients.
RPM patient benefit #4: Greater oversight and communications.
For patients who are already engaged with their care regimen, one of the biggest benefits of remote patient monitoring devices and platforms is the chance to stay in communication with their care team about critical concerns at all times. For providers, this is a valuable way to collect more detailed data and feedback. And for patients, it means better support and education — the key ingredients for successful outcomes.
RPM patient benefit #5: More hope for patients with chronic conditions.
Diagnosis of a chronic disease can be a tough pill to swallow. According to the National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion (NCCDPHP), heart disease and stroke account for a third of all deaths in the United States each year. Other conditions like diabetes and COPD can bring big, scary life changes, too.
In addition to these challenges, in the past, being diagnosed with chronic conditions usually meant rigorous treatments or lengthy hospital stays. RPM programs reduce these inconveniences in a way that can give people more confidence in their treatment. Daily communication with providers and the ability to monitor one’s own health with smartphone apps also help nurture a sense of empowerment and hope.
RPM patient benefit #6: Better patient-clinician relationships.
In any type of healthcare delivery system, “a strong patient–provider relationship must be maintained for continued transparency of the patient’s state of health, care pathways, comorbidity monitoring, and illness prevention,” as a study on patient satisfaction with RPM pointed out.
RPM systems helps nurture this relationship by offering a greater ability for patients to communicate with their doctors, nurses and care team. And given the stresses and challenges related to chronic care, that bond can be not only a source of comfort for patients, but also a better way of engaging them in their care regimen, boosting the potential for positive patient outcomes in the process.
RPM patient benefit #7: Greater availability of healthcare in rural communities.
People who live in underserved areas “are more likely than urban residents to die prematurely from all of the five leading causes of death,” notes the NCCDPHP. One of the most fundamental advantages of remote care — and the driving force behind the government’s health equity campaign to expand telehealth access into remote and rural areas — is its power to bring care to underserved communities.
On top of extending clinical care into the home with remote patient monitoring devices like blood pressure monitors and RPM weight scales, telehealth technology also lets patients and clinicians connect in real time, on a regular basis, even in areas that may not be covered by cellular networks. For many patients, this isn’t just a convenient way to access care, but often the only available option.
RPM patient benefit #8: Better access to specialty care.
In addition to extending access to primary care to underserved regions, telehealth services like RPM can also connect patients with specialized care providers in different parts of the country. And, given the scarcity of specialists like cardiologists or pulmonologists in many rural communities, this access could make the critical difference for patients with chronic illnesses, or other health conditions or disorders.
RPM patient benefit #9: A positive influence on mental health.
The underlying theme for many of these patient benefits of remote patient monitoring is comfort — and the improved engagement, satisfaction and ultimate success that often go along with it. With the knowledge that their condition is being continuously monitored by diligent clinicians, patients with high-risk conditions can rest a little easier.
That peace of mind isn’t just another source of comfort but a source of tangible mental health benefits, and a way to fend off the risk of frequent comorbidities like anxiety and depression — both chronic conditions in and of themselves. For instance, the American Heart Association has found that RPM corresponds to lower patient blood pressure compared to more traditional models of care.
RPM patient benefit #10: Fewer financial concerns.
When it comes to the need for healthcare, cost is usually a top consideration. For many patients, financial concerns can cause a great deal of stress, and potentially even pose as roadblocks to proper care. The new CMS codes for remote patient monitoring and RPM-adjacent care models help ensure that this critical part of chronic care is covered by insurance (as much as 80%, after deductible).
By allowing for more at-home care, and fewer trips to the clinic or hospital, remote patient monitoring programs also offer patients other perks like less money spent on gas and time wasted traveling. And many patients are also acutely aware of the potential financial consequences of a hospital or emergency room visit, giving added appeal to the higher quality of care made possible with RPM.
Bring the benefits of remote patient monitoring to your patients
Looking for help seizing the benefits of remote patient monitoring for your patients? We can help — contact us today to connect with a CareSimple specialist.