Several months ago, healthcare industry leaders predicted that 2020 would be the breakthrough year for Remote Patient Monitoring (RPM). The onset of COVID-19 and the subsequent efforts to minimize its spread has increased the demand for telehealth services rapidly. These remote solutions grant providers the ability to deliver quality care without face-to-face interactions, keeping asymptomatic patients safe at home while allowing providers to focus on the population with the most urgent needs.
Remote Patient Monitoring is a technology that enables medical monitoring of patients in between office visits while giving them access to extended care. This technology is used by patients through convenient devices like wearables and trackers so they can self-report their health data in real-time. The devices then relay that information to their provider and care team, which allows them to monitor the vitals relevant to their patients’ chronic conditions and care plan goals. Metrics tracked can include blood glucose levels, blood pressure, activity, and sleep.
Every RPM solution is built a little bit differently. With Wellbox, patients have several options to choose from when deciding on the right RPM device for them. No matter the choice, devices are used to measure the vital signs needed to manage their chronic conditions.
When enrolling in Remote Patient Monitoring, patients can use their existing monitors, adopt one, or be provided one from a carefully vetted selection from Wellbox. Among these vetted and pre-configured monitors are weight scales, blood pressure cuffs, pulse oximeters, and blood glucose monitors. We believe choice and comfort are key to engagement; if patients participate in device selection and are comfortable with their devices, they are more likely to reach their health goals!
Introducing a new technology like Remote Patient Monitoring to a practice can be challenging. For example, healthcare staff can feel overwhelmed to learn a new service or may unintentionally miss vital patient information transferred from the RPM device, according to Med City News. Wellbox understands these challenges and makes implementing and maintaining the Remote Patient Monitoring technologies easy for practices so they can focus on their patients’ care.
After our experienced in-house team enrolls a patient, a device specialist works with the patient to determine the best options for them. They are then assigned to a Wellbox registered nurse who develops a personalized care plan with them and begins consistent outreach and coaching. All of our patients receive a custom kit that includes any required technology, devices, and instructions.
Once patients begin using their device and tracking their vital signs, the nurses can use the Wellbox HIPAA-compliant platform as well as weekly or biweekly patient outreach to monitor and discuss incoming data. With our centralized dashboards, care teams can analyze this data and interpret long-term trends to determine the best paths to better care management. Finally, we submit and track Medicare claims for rendered services including payment remittance, claims denials, and accounts receivables, then compensate the practice for their time at a predetermined monthly rate.
Before CMS released its 2020 Care Management provisions, it required healthcare providers to discuss RPM in-person. Now, general supervision is permitted. This shift from direct to general supervision allows Wellbox to conduct RPM services remotely and in parallel to CCM services. Access to accurate and timely data from remote monitoring devices gives Wellbox nurses the ability to suggest better goals and interventions while assisting people in achieving those goals in measurable ways. It also helps to better coordinate the care of the patient by alerting their healthcare provider of any concerns in the data faster and more efficiently.
By allowing RPM to be conducted outside the traditional clinical visit with remote care, it can offer providers a more comprehensive view of their patients’ health from RPM’s data. This can then lead to patients receiving better care because of it. “With more patient information afforded by RPM, providers can design optimal treatment plans that account for patients’ medical past and present – and position them for a better medical future,” according to MedCity News.
With technology like wearables and trackers, RPM is opted in at the patient level, making it more likely to have a higher rate of participation and engagement than typical care and self-monitoring. This way, patients can easily participate in self-reporting their health data while allowing you to monitor their vitals and chronic conditions in real-time.
Access to this data can create collaborative care experiences among physicians, care teams, and patients, which grants providers greater insight into patients’ health journeys with chronic conditions. It can also help catch potential health concerns and complications sooner.
Chronic illness has a negative impact on not only the people it affects but the burden it brings upon the healthcare system. “More than 133 million Americans or 45 percent of the US population have at least one chronic disease, and these chronic diseases kill more than 1.7 million Americans every year,” according to mHealth Intelligence. Remote Patient Monitoring technologies can be an effective solution in tracking and helping patients reach health goals for chronic conditions such as diabetes, heart disease, and dementia.
In fact, a 2019 Spyglass Consulting report showed that “88% of hospitals and health have invested in or plan to invest in remote patient monitoring technologies as part of their transition to a value-based care model.” Why? Studies have shown that RPM can help improve patient health with several chronic conditions including hypertension, atrial fibrillation, and diabetes compared to typical care and self-monitoring alone.
For example, it can reduce systolic blood pressure and diastolic blood pressure. It is also been proven to decrease mortality rates and hospitalizations for patients with atrial fibrillation because RPM enables accurate and early detection of heart failure. Finally, encouraging research shows that the greatest improvements for diabetic patient populations occur when RPM is coupled with Chronic Care Management to significantly improve HbA1c levels. Once telephonic interactions occur, a blood glucose monitoring system can follow afterward. And, if needed, automatic transmission of self-monitoring of blood glucose can occur using cell phones or telehealth units.
Another example of its measurable clinical results includes The University of Pittsburgh Medical Center reducing the risk of hospital readmissions by 76% while also scoring over 90% on its patient satisfaction scores by letting patients use tablets and RPM equipment.
Wellbox is pleased to offer Remote Patient Monitoring as part of its service platform to its practice partners and patients, especially to support them throughout the COVID-19 crisis. If you would like to learn more about the benefits associated with this new service offering, our team has gathered everything providers should know before implementing the RPM solution. Wellbox works with chronically ill patients and their healthcare providers to enable healthier, happier, and longer lives while decreasing the financial burden of chronic illness to the healthcare system.
With solutions like Chronic Care Management and Remote Patient Monitoring, we are dedicated to making a positive impact on chronic illness in America. If leveraging Remote Patient Monitoring technologies sounds like something that could work well for your practice and patients, our team can help set it up for you. Contact us today to get started.