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Remote patient monitoring (RPM) is an effective way to ensure that patients with chronic conditions are able to receive continuous, personalized care. Not only can patients stay up-to-date and informed of their condition, but RPM also allows doctors to be proactive and have access to the data they need to be able to provide preventive care.
In this article, we will look over a few things that practices need to take into consideration as they start their journey with RPM. Incorporating remote patient monitoring into your practice can seem daunting, so let’s get you prepared in advance in order to determine which solution is right for you.
Every physician knows just how difficult it can be to make decisions with incomplete data. Reviewing the conditions you're treating in your patient population is key when determining whether adopting RPM is the right decision for your practice.
Remote patient monitoring can be reimbursed by Medicare for any conditions that require the use of digital devices that track patient health values. These health values can include physiological parameters that patients with conditions such as diabetes, hypertension, obesity, various weight related issues (such as anorexia), cardiovascular diseases, asthma, and cancer—to name a few—need to continuously monitor so that they can stay within their recommended parameters.
When integrating Remote Patient Monitoring into your practice, it may be a good idea to start with a pilot program that includes a representative portion of your patient population for which it would do the best. Once the program proves its success, then you can expand from there. It is essential that you are able to demonstrate the success of any new program initiated, and RPM is no different. Both your staff and your patients need to believe in the viability of the program, or they won’t want to use it.
The technology must be easy for both patients and clinicians to adopt and continue using. It is essential to provide both patients and clinicians with equipment that is intuitive. Physicians and their staff should be able to easily explain the equipment to patients, and it should not be complicated for patients to set up and use. Ideally, patients should be able to access the software anytime, anywhere. The patient data generated by remote monitoring should also be simple for physicians and their staff to access, monitor, and analyze in real time.
Decide in advance which aspects of RPM your practice will handle, and those that you will not. While the initial enrollment for RPM must be handled by an MD, NP, or PA, that doesn’t mean that you need to pick a solution where you handle all the steps for setting up a patient with the platform.
Using RPM involves a few different steps such as prescribing and getting consent for the use of the program with your patients, setting up various health devices, delivering the units to your patients, and collecting data. Choose the solution that’s right for you; you don’t have to complete every aspect of RPM in-house.
The program should be easy to implement and explain, and it should save you time. Be mindful of your team’s technological aptitude and find an RPM platform that best suits your team’s skill level.
When generating your implementation plan, you may consider having non-physician staff operate the RPM software. Many physicians are very busy and should only be brought in for management of the RPM software when a patient’s health values require immediate intervention or if there is a need for physician input in regard to patient care decisions.
When it comes to remote patient monitoring, the function and quality of patient devices is as significant as the usability and function of the physician’s platform. Integrating easy-to-use devices will not only ensure patient participation, but it will support the overall success of your RPM investment. Consider leveraging a cloud-based solution, since this will provide you with robust security.
When choosing the right RPM solution for your practice, you need to keep your budget realistic. RPM will be an investment, but it will also provide you with a new source of revenue. Be sure to keep in mind, however, that the program you choose needs to be HIPAA (Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act) compliant and secure.
Prioritizing patient privacy is critical. It is crucial that you understand all HIPAA requirements and guidelines for billing RPM services. It is extremely important to stay compliant to HIPAA at all times, not only to protect your patients, but for you to be able to bill for the provision of RPM services.
The implementation of a remote patient monitoring system not only increases patient engagement but will result in better outcomes. By choosing a secure, HIPAA-compliant solution that fits the technological needs of your practice, you will be able to better provide for your patients while procuring a new revenue source.
When it comes to your practice, make sure that the RPM program you choose benefits you, your staff, and patients.