How To Set Up A Remote Patient Monitoring Program?

How To Set Up A Remote Patient Monitoring Program?
Dr Josh May 9, 2022 RPm telehealth

Remote patient monitoring has fundamentally metamorphosed the way patients interact with healthcare providers in today’s globalized world. A large majority of healthcare providers are shifting to its use, as implementing an RPM program in a medical practice offers financial stability in uncertain times, apart from its several other benefits. 

Related: What Makes RPM And Telehealth Different?

RPM systems can also address value-based care performance metrics, allowing a medical practice to flourish. This writing focuses on the ways to set up a remote patient monitoring plan; let’s get into it!

Step 1: Identify your needs and form a team

Every practice must identify its respective needs before addressing an RPM program, may it be managing a prevalent issue or capitalizing on a lucrative opportunity. Identifying the needs of a practice allows convenient prioritization of resources, making it easier to guarantee long-term stability for the program.

Forming a team with the right people is also crucial to ensuring the success of an RPM program. This team should typically include physicians and nurses, non-clinical staff including office administrators, and high-level staff such as practice owners.

Step 2: Set your objectives

The needs a practice narrows down in step 1 must focus on its ultimate goals and objectives. There are three primary value areas that should be considered when defining success:

  • Health outcomes
  • Financial reimbursement
  • Provider satisfaction
  • Patient experience and engagement

Step 3: Lease or buy Remote Patient Monitoring devices

Deciding whether to buy or lease RPM devices is a critical decision most practices face when making the shift to technology. This decision is a crucial one with vast implications and thus should be made by keeping the budget, size, and goals of a healthcare facility in mind. 

Related: Does Remote Patient Monitoring reduce Acute Care use?

Several practices start off by leasing medical equipment primarily because of its lower upfront cost and innate flexibility and then shift over to buying RPM equipment because of its lower overall cost. Buying RPM devices also eliminates the need to form long-term contracts that are part and parcel of leasing.

Step 4: Recruit and identify eligible patients

The process of patient identification and recruitment requires extensive care because healthcare practices ought not to advertise their services aggressively or intrusively. A suitable practice requires developing a practical advertisement strategy and testing it out on a particular group of your patient population to evaluate the results and make alterations as required. 

You can start by categorizing your patients by Medicare part B enrollment, which covers almost 80% of the RPM costs around the globe, and via long-term and short-term care. In addition, you can also segment your patients based on their medical conditions or diseases, as different kinds of patients have different goals, resulting in variable success metrics.

Related: Using Remote patient monitoring to Manage Hypertension

Recruiting patients into an RPM program may be challenging, and there are three primary options to undertake this process:

  • In-person recruitment
  • Outreach programs
  • Phone calls

In-person recruitment, generally during an in-office visit, has the highest success rate as a medical practitioner can conveniently relay necessary information to a patient with high levels of trust. 

Outreach programs are also suitable modes of spreading the word about your practice and are usually carried out by sending a comprehensive letter to an eligible group of patients. 

Lastly, you can opt to call patients on their phones, but this process is time-consuming and has several drawbacks.

Related: What is Remote Cardiac Monitoring?

Step 5: Train clinicians and patients

Successful implementation of RPM solutions necessitates extensive engagement from patients, and thus it is imperative to ensure that they are adequately prepared. The preparation may include setting expectations, focusing on the program goals, and answering questions. Training clinicians is also a crucial part of RPM use and involves insight into processes like device utilization, teaching patients, and appropriate interaction.

Step 6: Engage patients by delivering RPM

Launching your RPM program comes next, and it is advisable to track the baseline metrics to compare program results and determine their success or loss rates. It is quite possible that you would have to put in additional efforts during the first few months of the program to support patients and staff in case they face technical complications. You may also schedule follow-up visits with patients to rectify any lingering concerns.

Step 7: Billing, coding, and reimbursement

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) brought about significant changes in the reimbursement rules in 2020, expanding them to fit the demands of RPM users. Therefore, it is vital to be aware of all these changes and billing codes to accurately reimburse patients for the RPM services you provide them. 

If you are looking to start your very own remote patient monitoring services, SmartClinix is the right fit for you. Whether you work individually or in a hospital or healthcare facility, you can start your online RPM care program with professionals at SmartClinix, including an online hypertension program, primary care program, and cardiology program. Head over to SmartClinix to know more about this lucrative opportunity! 

Dr Josh

Dr. Josh is a physician who's helping spread the knowledge about Telehealth and its advantages. At SmartClinix, he's providing his expertise and knowledge in the form of engaging articles on various health & tech related topics.

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