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    Top Remote Patient Monitoring Devices 2022

    With Remote Patient Monitoring (RPM) being the new trend many practices are using , knowing which devices are included in the list of top Remote Patient Monitoring devices will most help patients with Chronic Conditions. Knowing the differences can improve the quality of life for monitoring patients with different remote monitoring devices.

    The best long-term solution to ‌increasing costs of healthcare is to decrease the demand for healthcare by decreasing the number of services and procedures patients need. Proactively addressing health issues before they become major events can be done through RPM. There are many opportunities to use Remote Patient Monitoring devices, including hospitals, home care, and rehabilitation centers. Probabilistic modeling has shown that Remote Patient Monitoring devices can reduce emergency department visits.

    RPM is a healthcare approach that relies on large amounts of consistent and reliable patient data to tailor prescription and treatment decisions for better outcomes.

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    Blood pressure cuffs

    Blood pressure cuffs calculate a patient’s heart rate and blood flow by measuring changes in artery motion. The Bluetooth blood pressure cuff is like the one we’ve used before at the doctor’s—the key difference is that it sends the patient data through HIPAA compliant, encrypted data flow to a clinician for review. 

    This monitoring technology allows at-risk patients to provide daily data without “white-coat syndrome”. This data can be useful for patients with many chronic conditions.

    The Bluetooth Remote Patient Monitoring device blood pressure cuff has become a popular home health device. It can be taken anywhere, and it is more accurate than an old-fashioned manual blood pressure cuff. It is a great way to monitor your blood pressure at home, or on a vacation.

    Blood pressure cuffs

    Glucose Meter

    Glucose meters test a patient’s blood sugar through a small drop of blood placed on a test strip that is connected to the device. The blood sugar level is sent to a medical professional who can compare it to previous daily readings. As a person with diabetes, you are obligated to frequently test your blood glucose levels. If the levels are too high, you will need to take insulin or other medications to keep the levels from rising even higher. If the levels are too low, you will need to eat or drink something sugary as soon as possible in order for your blood sugar level to rise.

    Type 1 diabetes is a disease that causes a person’s pancreas to stop producing insulin, requiring them to take insulin shots or wear a pump or eat a special diet to stay alive. Knowing vital signs daily is a key step in staying healthy and proactively spotting trends in a patient’s health.

    Glucose Meter

    Pulse Oximeter

    The pulse oximeter is a non-invasive clip attached to the patient’s finger (or occasionally earlobe) to measure light wavelengths that determine blood oxygen level– how much oxygen is circulating in the patient’s red blood cells.

    This is done by shining an infrared light through the skin and measuring the attenuation of that light as it passes through a person’s vascular system. The oximeter then displays two values: one for the arterial oxygen saturation, which is how much oxygen is in your arteries, and one for the venous oxygen saturation, which is how much oxygen is in your veins.

    The Pulse Oximeter is one of the top Remote Patient Monitoring devices and, with this device, patients can get round-the-clock readings at home. With this device, patients can see if they have any symptoms or warning signs of a potential heart attack, stroke, or breathing problems. This is important for when they sleep.  The pulse oximeter records a patient’s pulse rate. This information helps a physician monitor the patient’s stability.

    Pulse Oximeter

    Wearables

    Often not remembered as an RPM device, wearables are small, lightweight devices that people wear on their wrists like a watch or around their waist like a belt.

    These devices are connected to smartphones and send information to the system about how active the wearer is throughout the day. They can calculate how many calories the wearer has  burned. Some wearable devices can also track an individual’s sleep patterns, which can be useful for patients with chronic conditions that affect their sleep.

    These wearables have additional healthcare applications to detect any abnormality or change in heart rate, breathing rate, or other vital signs. Wearable devices have the potential to help cardiac patients monitor their own condition and provide feedback to their wearer’s health care providers.

    Wearables

    Scale

    Bluetooth scales enable the patient to track changes in their weight. When the scale’s readings are monitored by a healthcare professional, any extreme changes in weight will be immediately noticed. This can help prevent obesity or severe weight loss because of an underlying issue. Programs can be adapted to address weight changes, and to ensure symptoms are not worsening, and if they are, to intervene.

    For CHF patients especially, where weight fluctuations are often a result of water retention, this is essential to spot the changes in weight. Gain control over patient-reported symptoms of dyspnea, fatigue, and anxiety.

    Digital scales enable healthcare organizations to track weight changes directly and better identify potential symptoms that may be related to fluid retention or anemia. This is relevant for people who recently had a major surgery. The patient can also use the scale for self-monitoring of their condition and progress against recommendations from their clinician.

    This remote patient device has applications for patients with chronic conditions. Weight control can help maintain a healthy lifestyle while they are balancing both their physical and mental health.

    Scale

    Conclusion

    The benefits of Remote Patient Monitoring devices are multifaceted. Besides the convenience factor, there are some other key benefits for patients and providers.

    Patients save time and money by being able to be monitored remotely from home or another location instead of having to travel back-and-forth from work or home visits. Providers have more options for care, including 24/7 access to current patient information. .

    Patients can manage their schedules with virtual visits. Remote Patient Monitoring devices also have the potential to decrease hospitalization and rehospitalization, which benefits both patients and providers.  There are few potential downsides to Remote Patient Monitoring devices, especially when compared to the many positive benefits of RPM. However, there is a risk of losing in-person physical contact with providers, which has been shown to have positive effects on patients and their outcomes. RPM cannot replace all office visits, but it is a valuable tool to improve outcomes, lower costs, gain greater information and offer greater convenience. 

    See how Medek RPM can help your practice today.

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    Remote Patient Monitoring (RPM) may be one of the best defenses against the stubborn challenges of medical inflation. Other names for this rapidly-growing patient care intervention are: Remote Physiologic Monitoring and Remote Therapeutic Monitoring. In this article, the Medek RPM Patient Care Team will describe how this technology can help to improve patient outcomes as well as practice revenues. The High Cost of Excellent Patient Care The costs of running a successful medical practice have been rising steeply in recent decades. Like any other business, a medical practice is subject to inflationary pressures. The year-over-year US inflation rate is currently at an astounding rate of 8.4%.1 This has a major effect on healthcare providers and their patients. The COVID-19 pandemic, labor shortages, supply-chain disruptions, and other economic predicaments2 have levied immense financial strain on healthcare providers as they work tirelessly to provide high quality, cost-effective patient care. In order to compensate for significant labor shortages, particularly in the healthcare fields, medical practices are offering significantly higher wages to attract skilled employees.3 Payment structures of insurance carriers are unpredictable and convoluted, making financial solvency especially difficult for those in private practice.4 Boosting Revenues While Tackling Medical Inflation Oftentimes, administrators in medical practices have the impression that the only way to increase revenue is to take on more patients. Particularly for physicians in small-to-medium private practices, this would mean longer hours as well as increases in supporting staff for tasks such as billing and office management. Revenues from increased patient load might be largely canceled out by the increased costs of running a business. The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), recognizes the value of connected technology interventions, such as Remote Physiologic Monitoring. Thus, they have designated a series of CPT codes that cover patients throughout the continuum of care.5,6 CPT Code 99453 – Initial set-up and patient education ⇒Physicians are reimbursed simply for starting an RPM service. Initial patient education is provided by the Medek Patient Care Team. CPT Code 99454 – Data recording and programmed alerts ⇒Each day that patients use these connected devices, biometrics such as weight, blood glucose, pulse oximetry, and blood pressure are transferred seamlessly to the designated providers. This includes alerts that need special medical attention. CPT Code 99457 – 20 minutes per calendar month (cumulative) on patient care management ⇒This reimbursement does not require a patient visit. Interactions with patients can be completed by other providers besides physicians. CPT Code 99458 – Subsequent 20-minute blocks of time beyond the initial 20 minutes ⇒Covers additional time for patient care, which helps to ensure that patients remain as healthy as possible. Case Example If a physician sees a patient once per quarter for diabetes management at a cost of $100 per office visit, this would mean $400 per year for the medical practice. The allowable Medicare reimbursements for Remote Patient Monitoring/Remote Physiologic Monitoring may total as much as $180 per month in addition to revenue from inpatient visits. ADDITIONAL RESOURCE: Get an estimated monthly revenue for your Medicare patients who receive RPM Medical Conditions Treated with RPM In its Final Policy Fact Sheet, CMS clarified that RPM may be medically necessary for acute as well as chronic conditions.7 Here are just a few examples of diagnoses that can be treated with RPM: Hypertension and other cardiovascular conditions Diabetes Obesity Weight loss Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) Cerebral-Vascular Accident (CVA) Hyperlipidemia8,9 ADDITIONAL RESOURCE: Using Remote Patient Monitoring for COVID-19 The Major Positive Impact on Rural Healthcare10 RPM is an essential strategy in our nation's rural communities. A large rural hospital system found that 87% of enrolled patients had no emergency room visits. Joseph Bianco, MD, a family practice physician in rural Minnesota strongly supports RPM as an alternative to hospitalization: “Hospitals are not always safe places for patients, especially older adults who are frail. But these patients also might not be safe if they are sent home, ... Remote Patient Monitoring program allows providers to notice subtle changes in a patient’s vitals or behavior and intervene before the patient’s condition worsens.”[para. 6,7]11 RPM, therefore, is not only helpful for revenue, but also is a key factor in illness prevention and keeping patients out of hospitals. The Big Picture Navigating through the “perfect storm” of medical inflation, COVID-19, and staff shortages is a strain for private practice providers and large healthcare systems alike. The Deloitte Center for Health Solutions, an international healthcare research and consulting firm, sees all types of virtual care as a catalyst for financial solvency and positive patient outcomes. RPM tools maximize virtual check-ins, adding value to the entire patient experience.12,13 Getting Started with Remote Physiological Monitoring Even though the Medek onboarding process is comprehensive, it’s fast and easy with these 5 steps: Schedule a demo. Sign on with no initial costs or risks. Identify patients who would benefit from RPM (or let Medek do the work for you). Medek specialists begin the billing process. Start earning additional revenue without increasing patient loads. The best part of our process? There are no up-front costs for you or your patients. At Medek, we invite you to partner with a highly-skilled group of healthcare professionals for your financial health as a business and for the long-term health of your patients. Contact Us Today to Learn More About Medek’s Full Service Remote Patient Monitoring Program Sources Amadeo, K. (2022, October 13). What is the current US inflation rate? The Balance. https://www.thebalancemoney.com/current-u-s-inflation-rate-statistics-and-news-3306139 Burrill, S., Gerhardt, W., Arora, A. (2020). Hospital revenue trends: Outpatient, home, virtual, and other care settings are becoming more common. Deloitte Insights. https://www2.deloitte.com/us/en/insights/industry/health-care/outpatient-virtual-health-care-trends.html. (Author). (2022, February 14). Inflation In Medicine and What Future Holds For Doctors. https://investingdoc.com/inflation-in-medicine-and-what-future-holds-for-doctors/#:~:text=As%20I%E2%80%99ve%20said%20in%20another%20post%2C%20inflation%20of,past%20year%20inflation%20%282021%29%20of%207%25%20per%20year Arana, N. (2022, March 29). Top 5 way medical practices can combat inflation. AdvancedMD. https://www.advancedmd.com/blog/top-5-way-medical-practices-can-combat-inflation/. Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services. (2020, December 1). Final Policy, Payment, and Quality Provisions Changes to the Medicare Physician Fee Schedule for Calendar Year 2021. https://www.cms.gov/newsroom/fact-sheets/final-policy-payment-and-quality-provisions-changes-medicare-physician-fee-schedule-calendar-year-1 Lacktman, N.M., Ferrante, T.B., Goodman, R.B. (2020, December 7) 2021 Medicare Remote Patient Monitoring FAQs: CMS Issues Final Rule. Foley and Lardner, LLP. https://www.foley.com/en/insights/publications/2020/12/2021-remote-patient-monitoring-cms-final-rule. Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services. (2020, December 1). Final Policy, Payment, and Quality Provisions Changes to the Medicare Physician Fee Schedule for Calendar Year 2021. https://www.cms.gov/newsroom/fact-sheets/final-policy-payment-and-quality-provisions-changes-medicare-physician-fee-schedule-calendar-year-1 Health Resources and Services Administration (n.d.) Leveraging remote patient monitoring in your practice. https://th-site-downloads.s3.us-east-2.amazonaws.com/Leveraging+Remote+Patient+Monitoring+In+Your+Practice.pdf. Medek RPM. (n.d.) Frequently Asked Questions. https://medekrpm.com/faq#hfaq-post-2343. Mead, A. (2021, July 14). Remote patient monitoring helps rural patients recover at home. Rural Health Information Hub. https://www.ruralhealthinfo.org/rural-monitor/remote-patient-monitoring/. Ibid. [paragraphs 6 and 7] Burrill, S., Gerhardt, W., Arora, A. (2020). Hospital revenue trends: Outpatient, home, virtual, and other care settings are becoming more common. Deloitte Insights. https://www2.deloitte.com/us/en/insights/industry/health-care/outpatient-virtual-health-care-trends.html. PwC Health Research Institute (2021). Medical cost trend: Behind the numbers, 2022. [Chart Pack]. https://www.pwc.com/us/en/industries/health-industries/library/assets/pwc-hri-behind-the-numbers-2022.pdf Additional Source - MedekRPM Website

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