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What is Remote Patient Monitoring?
October 10, 2020
Remote patient monitoring (RPM) is the remote collection of patients’ physiologic measures using connected devices that patients use at home or office—blood pressure cuffs, body scales, heart rate and pulse oximetry monitors, blood glucose monitors, spirometers and mobile apps—with the dashboards, clinical alerts and secured messaging that care managers use to deliver the remote care services. It also incorporates the data processing, secured storage and analysis that occurs in between data collection and reporting.

To date, launching an RPM practice has proved easiest, fastest and most effective as a complementary care program to Chronic Care Management (CCM). As the logistics of care delivery improve—a decrease in office visits, patient travel and waiting times, and the associated costs that patients incur—provider offices gain efficiencies. Through RPM, physicians have access to robust, detailed and often real-time physiologic data sets, enriched by the number and frequency of readings. This, in turn, gives physicians a clearer picture of patients’ health and treatment adherence, and enables timely interventions and more informed care plans.

Using RPM, patients self-collect their health data as prescribed by the physician’s care plan. With the advent of new 4G-enabled medical devices, that data is sent electronically with ease over cellular networks directly to the physician’s office for review.

The cadence of that collection and transmission is determined by patients’ diagnoses, condition acuity and other factors such as the compliance rules dictated by Medicare, which are a minimum of 16 days of patient data collection per 30-day period as per CPT code 99454. Care managers review the data and adjust treatment and care plans accordingly including setting in-clinic visits or arranging referrals as warranted. The net result, when RPM is used effectively and patients engage fully, is improved practice efficiency, reduced costs as well as increased compliance.