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Remote Patient Monitoring
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UTM:Healthcare Enables Body Temperature Checks Within Remote Patient Monitoring System
Remote Patient Monitoring: Medicare Proposes Two Major Expansions
Last week, CMS proposed two significant changes to remote patient monitoring (RPM) services reimbursed under the Medicare program. The changes, part of the proposed 2020 Physician Fee Schedule, have been hotly anticipated by digital health providers hoping to see more clarity and flexibility for RPM services.
The creation of new RPM codes at the beginning of 2019 (CPT Codes 99457, 99454, and 99453) was a big step forward to expanding patient digital health and improve health care delivery, outcomes, and cost management. Questions remained on how to properly use and bill the new RPM codes, and what business and staffing models are required by Medicare. Providers asked if RPM must be billed incident to a professional’s services under direct supervision, or if they could use general supervision similar to Chronic Care Management (CCM) services? What types of RPM devices are covered under the practice expense codes of CPT Codes 99454 and 99453? May patients manually enter data into a RPM device? And why is CPT Code 99454 billed on 30 day cycle while CPT Code 99457 is billed on a monthly basis? While CMS did not address all of these questions in the proposed Physician Fee Schedule rule, it did offer some helpful clarity and propose expanding Medicare RPM services in two significant ways: 1) allowing RPM to be delivered under general supervision; and 2) creating a new add-on code for patients who receive more than 20 minutes per month of RPM services.
8 Key Telehealth Trends in 2019
By Debra Wood, contributor 07/15/19 via MerritHawkins.com
Across the country, telehealth is changing the way physicians practice. As consumer demand increases for the convenience of virtual health visits, so has physicians’ acceptance of the technology.
“Telemedicine is bound to continue booming,” said Peter Yellowlees, MBBS, MD, past president of the American Telemedicine Association and chief wellness officer at the University of California, Davis Health in Sacramento.
8 current trends in telehealth and telemedicine
1. Steep growth in physician adoption
Physician adoption of telehealth increased 340 percent from 2015 to 2018, according to American Well’s Telehealth Index: 2019 Physician Survey. Additionally, 69 percent of physicians indicated a willingness to try telehealth. The survey estimates by 2022, as many as 590,000 physicians will be using telehealth.
“Physicians are starting to welcome the disruptive approach to health care and are slowly realizing its benefits—cost improvements, access to remote people or to those without physicians, as well as a fun way to see patients via tech, which can help with burnout,” said Mia Finkelston, MD, medical director of American Well, which offers telemedicine technology solutions.
Consumers are willing to utilize medical wearables to overcome barriers to seeing a physician, including distance and cost, according to a recent survey by VivaLNK. The survey reveals that of 100 participants ages 40 and over, 64 percent said they would utilize a wearable health monitoring device if it meant it could reduce the number of times, they had to physically visit a doctor or hospital.
3 Factors Driving Patient’s Desire to Reduce Physical Physician Appointments
The survey determined there are three key factors contributing to participants’ desire to reduce physical appointments for patients:
1. Costs of the appointment
3. Disliking healthcare facilities
With remote patient monitoring a hot topic among healthcare providers, a new survey indicates patients would be open to outfitting themselves with wearable devices if it resulted in fewer trips to visit the doctor.
WHY IT MATTERS
The study of 100 participants ages 40 and over, conducted by connected healthcare solutions provider VivaLNK, found nearly two-thirds (64 percent) would put on a wearable health monitoring device if it meant it reducing the number of trips made to visit a doctor or hospital.
Overall interest in wearables like a Fitbit or the Apple Watch for remote patient monitoring purposes was high, with more than half (55 percent) of respondents noting they would use such a device at home.
Healthcare CIOs are constantly reminded of the importance of using technology to increase patient engagement and satisfaction in their organizations. But, with the different investment options in the marketplace, CIOs and chief medical information officers should focus on a handful of key areas to ensure they can gain true ROI to improve patient engagement and experience.
Where a patient decides to seek care can be influenced by the reputation of the hospital, which is often related to the overall patient experience. While it is tricky to map the direct impact of technology on patient satisfaction scores, it does make a difference in the patient experience and contributes to the overall level of engagement.