RPM saw a rapid increase in adoption during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, yet, despite that major spike, recent studies have found that 75% of medical practices have yet to offer RPM as part of their practices – but plan to implement it in the future.
I was excited to tune into this year’s Xtelligent Healthcare Media Annual Remote Patient Monitoring Virtual Summit, which focused on addressing the successes and challenges currently facing RPM implementation – from CMS reimbursement and the growing ‘Hospital at Home’ strategy, to the struggle to integrate home virtual care services into these programs.
Our client, Desert Oasis Healthcare (DOHC), was invited to participate in the “Using RPM to Support the Shift from Chronic Disease Management to Prevention” panel at the summit, in which Brian Hodgkins, Executive VP Clinical Operations and ACO at DOHC, was able to speak with other industry leaders about how RPM is bolstering chronic disease management and aiding in the early detection and prevention of chronic diseases. Hodgkins and the other panelists also discussed the challenges of implementing RPM-enabled chronic care programs, and keys to success in doing so.
After listening to the panel and hearing directly from our client and other industry experts, I wanted to share some top insights from the discussion.
Criteria for Implementing RPM for Chronic Care Mangement
Panelists were keen to share which aspects of their RPM programs have led to success, highlighting three key questions providers should consider when evaluating solutions to ensure success and scalability.
- How easy is it for your patients to participate in the program?
- How easy is it for your staff to manage the program?
- Will you be able to measure the impact of your program using your baseline data?
For question one, the panelists emphasized the importance of utilizing devices that are accessible and easy for patients to use. In some programs discussed, the devices included consumer-facing trackers that patients were already using. Panelists also mentioned the need to evaluate which devices would be covered by insurance. Lastly, panelists discussed the importance of ease of use of the devices themselves, so providers get consistent patient data from either a Bluetooth or cellular-enabled device. While Bluetooth devices may be covered by more insurance plans, cellular devices offer a more seamless way for data to be transmitted directly from the device to the provider, without complicated pairing or syncing by the patient.
Panelists also highlighted the need for buy-in from the staff who will be monitoring the patients. First and foremost, is the RPM solution integrated into their existing EHR workflow? Then, is the data presented in a usable format? Clinicians are already inundated with data, Hodgkins noted, “getting pinged 200 times a day on Hypertension would not be useful.” If your organization is billing for the RPM CPT codes, does the solution you are using help facilitate this process (e.g. display the number of days of remote data you are getting from each patient)?
Lastly, panelists noted that it is crucial to leverage your population-level data not only to identify the highest risk patient cohorts, but to establish a set of baseline metrics that can be used to measure the effectiveness of the RPM program.
While reimbursements for RPM have expanded since 2018, it is important to remember that those codes were put in place as a bridge to accelerate adoption of care models that drive better patient outcomes. Providers must look at this technology with an eye for improving the overall health of their patients and populations, so healthcare organizations don’t have to spend unnecessary costs in the system for patients who require hospitalization, or end up in the ER for issues that are controllable and preventable.
Leveraging RPM can Improve Chronic Disease Management
DOHC’s pharmacist-led population health management team has been working with Rimidi for nearly eight years, and over that time has monitored close to 4,000 patients with Rimidi across different therapeutic areas–all within their existing NextGen EHR workflow.
Importantly, DOHC started with a well-defined, targeted cohort of high-risk patients with type 2 diabetes. In an initial study of 80 patients, the team saw clinical improvements including a 2.8 point improvement in A1C and a 30mg/dL reduction in LDL. Further, the team reported that they can serve three times as many patients with the Rimidi platform than without it.
Since then, DOHC has expanded their program to include use of cellular-enabled glucometers and connected CGM devices to monitor patients with diabetes; connected scales to monitor weight of heart failure patients; and connected blood pressure devices to monitor patients with hypertension.
A recent survey of over 250 DOHC patients utilizing RPM for diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and heart failure, found that 70% of respondents believe it enabled them to better manage their health conditions. Furthermore, 90% said that the addition of remote monitoring has augmented their face-to-face appointments, making these visits more valuable, and in some cases, replacing the need for frequent in-person appointments altogether.
Rimidi was also particularly beneficial to DOHC during the COVID-19 pandemic, as the team quickly adopted Rimidi’s FHIR-based Patient Reported Outcomes tool for symptom screening, monitoring and triage.
Rimidi’s Approach to Remote Patient Monitoring
With more and more providers looking to implement RPM programs to improve patient outcomes and optimize clinical workflows, they must seek solutions that provide more than just remote monitoring.
Rimidi uniquely brings remote patient monitoring, chronic care management, clinical decision support, and patient reported outcomes together in one highly composable platform designed to support management of cardiometabolic diseases.
Rimidi’s core capabilities include:
- Integration into the Workflow, which provides clinical data integration, single sign-on and a unified onscreen user experience.
- Frictionless Data Sharing, which offers clinicians a more holistic, continuous view of their patients’ health
- Risk Stratification and Reporting, which allows each client to configure alerts, risk scores, and triage status to support their specific protocols, care team structure, and clinical priorities – providing visibility of outcomes at the population level
- Clinical Decision Support, which surfaces in Rimidi or natively in the EHR to support various insights or interventions – from RPM alerting to guideline adherence.
If you’re looking for an RPM solution that best fits the needs of your health system, contact us today to request a demo.
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