Health care execs see technology benefitting patients and their own bottom lines
Health care leaders are expressing growing confidence in remote patient monitoring (RPM).
Most surveyed said they plan to maintain or increase their spending on RPM in 2024, according to a recent poll of 141 executives and clinicians conducted by Sage Growth Partners. MD Revolution, a software company offering RPM and chronic care management solutions, commissioned the poll.
Among the key findings, 46% of participants said they expected to increase their RPM budget in the next year, while another 46% said they expected to maintain their current level of spending. Only 7% of respondents said they planned to reduce their RPM spending.
“Obviously, there seems to be growing interest in remote patient monitoring,” Kyle Williams, CEO of MD Revolution, told Medical Economics’ sister publication Managed Healthcare Executive®.
“I think that a lot of what these programs bring to the table is a different experience for the patient, which really leads to adherence or early detection,” Williams said. “It's more touch points with the patients.”
The vast majority of respondents (94%) said that they are seeing better outcomes with RPM. In addition, 73% said RPM programs are generating a positive return on investment, and 70% reported higher levels of patient satisfaction. One respondent said patients are viewing RPM and chronic care management as a “concierge service,” according to the report.
Health systems are using RPM to help manage patients with chronic conditions, allowing providers to keep tabs on patients without requiring them to visit clinicians in person. Boston Medical Center used an RPM program to track pregnant patients who were at risk of having complications.
Williams said many of the patients served by his company are Medicare recipients, and RPM programs can be particularly appealing to older patients. Such programs are helpful for those “dealing with isolation, dealing with inability to get to an appointment,” Williams said. “They're taking a lot of different medications. You know, these are chronically ill patients. They're dealing with taking their blood pressure every day.”
“Pulling it all together to get support for that is really helpful, across the board, from a patient perspective, from a provider perspective,” he said.
In terms of financial gains, 63% of health care leaders surveyed said they saw a return by improving engagement and compliance with care plans, and 58% said they realized returns on their investment by improving patient adherence to their medications.
Williams said he sees potential for more use of RPM in Medicaid programs. “I think it's very underutilized in Medicaid programs,” he said.
Patient adherence to RPM and chronic care management programs can vary, Williams said, but many are willing to make the commitment.
“What we typically see is, if people make it through the two- or three-month habit-forming period, that they stick with it for months, even years,” Williams said. “It just becomes part of their routine. And certainly, if they ever have a change in their health condition that comes up in the timeframe that they're on these programs, then they're in it for life.”
With most Americans now having smartphones, Williams said, RPM technologies can help provide care to underserved communities. Potentially, they can help providers detect patients who may be headed for trouble and intervene before costly interventions are required.
Done effectively, Williams sees RPM as a tool to improve health equity. With such programs, he said, “We can enable really broad population health programs. And that really creates a better safety net for everyone.”