Today, people with chronic conditions account for 84% of nationwide healthcare spending, and one in four American adults have two or more chronic conditions. Those numbers, and the costs associated, are going up.
Existing remote patient monitoring systems, or RPMs, have created opportunities for physicians to reduce costs while improving care. Proactive interventions, continuous feedback loops and better patient self-management becuase of RPMs are having a positive impact.
New systems of remote monitoring are emerging that promise to have an even greater impact of patient care are emerging. Use of data and related AI-driven components are the key distinguishing features of these new RPMs.
At a roundtable during the 2018 Connected Health Conference, leaders and stakeholders from all corners of the healthcare world – including patients, payers, providers, and technologists – discussed how to overcome barriers to the deployment of remote monitoring programs. The group identified five key tactics for operationally deploying data-driven remote care.
1) Make the data actionable
As one Telehealth Director put it, “”Data is great, but at the end of the day physicians are too busy, and the workflow must be as seamless as possible for them to embrace something new.”
2) Build an integrated program – for patients and providers
Providers today are overburdened with high volumes of patients and difficult technical systems, so integrating a new program of care can be a challenge. Likewise, patients face barriers to remote monitoring when it requires behavior that doesn’t align with their daily routines. Integrating data from devices patients are already using – directly into the EHR and existing clinical workflows – is key for adoption.
3) Prepare organizations for change
Another hurdle for these new systems is the failure to actively managing the change to a new system. “When really clear success criteria aren’t defined up front, it makes the process really long and it becomes hard to feel like you’re accomplishing anything,” said Martin Entwistle, CEO & President, Ares Health Systems.
4) Take advantage of existing financial support
There are new CPT codes to support remote monitoring initiatives demonstrate this. Specifically, three new codes were introduced with the 2019 Physician Fee Schedule Rule that take a significant leap in offering reimbursement for remote monitoring programs.
“New reimbursements from CMS are promising in their support for the use of digital health technologies and patient-generated health data in remote monitoring programs,” said, Drew Schiller, CEO, Validic
5) Understand the value of remote monitoring
If managed well, and proper expectations are set up front, remote monitoring holds major benefits for doctors and their patients. It affords physicians the ability to practice at the top of their license, providing care more efficiently to the people who need their attention most.
While an RPM is not for all patients, but for those who are willing to use it, the technology can help them to see themselves in a new way. Patient Advocate Steve Van said, “The data helped me look at myself in a way that was different, and it became the language by which my doctor and I communicated. We now have true, meaningful dialogue.”
At a time when higher volumes of patients require more comprehensive care – especially to manage chronic conditions like diabetes and hypertension – and the industry is at the crossroads of fee-for-service versus value-based care, the roundtable participants agreed that, if implemented well, the latest data- and intelligence-driven systems opportunities to improve health outcomes for patients while providing more meaningful care.
For a comprehensive report detailing the round table discussion, visit http://pages.validic.com/rs/521-GHL-511/images/2018.12.6_CHCRoundtableWP_FINAL1.pdf