Bootcamp 2022: Remote patient monitoring boosts patient outcomes and practice revenue

Medical Economics Journal, Medical Economics May 2022 edition, Volume 99, Issue 5

Remote patient monitoring (RPM) harnesses technology to create better outcomes for patients. As RPM expands, there are more studies that show its effectiveness.

For the full video presentation, go here.

INTRODUCTION

Remote patient monitoring (RPM) harnesses technology to create better outcomes for patients. As RPM expands, there are more studies that show its effectiveness. For a weight-loss program, patients using RPM lost 86.3% more weight compared with those without RPM. And patients are not the only ones who benefit; practices using RPM see better revenue to boost their bottom line — in some cases doubling their revenue per patient. Instead of focusing on bringing in new patients to increase revenue, practices can boost how much they are making from each patient all while boosting health outcomes. Payers are also recognizing the effectiveness of RPM and offering full reimbursement rates for many services as they transition to more value-based care. In addition, offering RPM services does not require additional staff members to implement, only a few hours of training time. Practices looking to boost their revenue and patient outcomes should consider remote patient monitoring.


LEARNING OBJECTIVES

Understand the benefits of RPM, how it works and which patients benefit.

Develop talking points for persuading patients to use RPM services.

Understand how to create an RPM, including revenue forecasts and patient outcome benchmarks.


MEET THE PANELIST

Wes Haydon
President and Co-Founder
CoachCare

R

emote patient monitoring is starting to take off as technology allows physicians not only to boost patient health outcomes, but also to increase their practice revenue.

In a study of 1,000 patients who received a diagnosis of obesity from across multiple practices, patients using RPM lost 86% more weight than patients who were not, and the RPM patients stayed on their weight-loss program 30.2% longer than non-RPM patients. The best news may be that getting these results doesn’t require an investment in additional personnel.

“None of these clients had to add staff to deliver these improved outcomes and engagement results,” says Wes Haydon, president and co-founder, CoachCare.

Now is a great time to start with RPM, says Haydon. CMS and commercial payers continue to expand their support for RPM services as they transition to more value-based care. Because physicians can now utilize auxiliary staffers and get reimbursed for additional diagnoses than previously, RPM is more cost effective than in prior years.

Haydon says RPM is for any physician looking to add revenue to their practice while building a best-in-class patient care program. “If you feel like you and your team are working hard every day, your staff is starting to get burned out and you just can’t seem to help patients enough, then RPM is for you.” He says physicians who don’t accept insurance or are not comfortable with new technology should probably not look into an RPM program.

One of the advantages of remote patient monitoring is that practices are boosting revenue on the patients they already have rather than trying to market the practice to potential new patients.

“Adding patients is expensive and you are going to have to pay for marketing, and ultimately, it puts pressure on already overwhelmed staff,” says Haydon. “And so that ultimately makes it not scalable, because the maximum number of patients you can see is limited by the number of hours you work in a day. You also have to add a lot of new patients in order to have any meaningful impact in revenue.”

Instead of focusing on marketing to new patients, practices can prescribe reimbursable remote patient monitoring to existing chronic, at-risk and even post-acute patients. “You avoid all that wasted marketing spend and at the same time are also able to drastically improve the efficacy of the treatments,” says Haydon. “Your staff is able to focus on these value-added activities, and their morale is reinvigorated because they’re doing good for patients while also doing well for the practice financially.”

Another added benefit is that when staff have downtime, such as when there is a canceled appointment or between appointments, that’s normally not billable time. But with remote patient monitoring, it can be.

With the right system in place, a practice can generate double the revenue with half the patients, and the work isn’t really any different from what most practices are already doing. “If you’re doing any type of monitoring of patients, checking up on them or calling them in between visits, you’re probably not getting paid for that,” says Haydon. “That is remote monitoring.”

Without it, patients might be in a slow decline that might not be detected until their next visit, which might not be for a month or more. Remote monitoring offers the possibility of seeing the patient’s vitals, which are transmitted from home in real time, and getting reimbursed for having junior staff periodically review the data. If it falls outside predetermined ranges, then the physician is notified and can take appropriate action versus finding out when they come back to the office in a month.

Solutions & takeaways

  • Boost health outcomes for your patients.
  • Earn more revenue for your practice with no extra staff.
  • Take advantage of payers’ expanding reimbursement for RPM.
  • Build stronger patient relationships.
  • Attract and retain patients with high-tech health solutions.