How to Start Your RPM Mini-Clinical
Starting RPM with a mini-clinical study establishes the practice’s protocol, keeps costs low, produces measurable outcomes, and gets the staff comfortable with the technology.
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RPM Mini-Clinical Patient Selection
Patient Profile: Younger Medicare patients; own and use a smartphone; knows what an app is; and has one chronic condition such as hypertension are best for this Remote Patient Monitoring RPM mini-clinical. They do not need a tablet because they own a smartphone and like using it. They may own a fitness watch or are willing to invest in one. Find 10 to 20 of these patients.
Product: Keep is simple and keep costs low. Patients get a weight scale only. It is one of the two easiest devices to use, pulse oximeter being the second. Many hypertensives own a BP cuff, perhaps even an expensive one. They are cumbersome and painful to use. Diabetics likely have a glucometer and are comfortable using it. Both patient types often have a weight problem. The scale gets used frequently and is painless thus achieving the necessary days of use for reimbursement.
Your Mini-Clinical Metrics
It is important to set out reasonable expectations and outcomes for this initial group. A simple group metric such as an overall 25% reduction in blood pressure could be used. There is clinical documentation that a most basic RPM program (one call a month) resulted in a 30% reduction. A second metric may be group weight loss in the first month.
How to Use the VitalCare App
- Medication: Start using the reminder function to reinforce patient compliance. Taking their blood pressure medication as prescribed should product positive results in a month or sooner.
- Weight: Taken regularly, VitalCare produces a trendline of changes. This makes the patient aware of the results of their diet and exercise program.
- Nutrition: We suggest that the patient monitor their daily diet for one week. This gives the provider monitor an opportunity to intervene and make suggested changes.
- Steps and Caloric Burn: The patient should be tracking their activity as part of the lifestyle change and weight loss program. Owning a fitness watch is helpful.
- Engagement: Focus the engagement on lifestyle changes in diet, exercise, medication and other information that may help lower their blood pressure.
- Communication: Send regular Messages, Questions, and Surveys to reinforce their new behavior.
- Video: Utilize the Video Call Scheduler to organize calls during the staffers RPM hours.
- Group Video (Q1 2021): Create group behavior modification sessions (billable CPT Code).
Identify the Right Administrator
The physician identifies an administrator or nurse and they become the RPM and VitalCare champion. Make sure they see how VitalCare works to build and support RPM billing. It helps if they understand how group programs such as weight watchers and AA work to support a person changing habits. There is an important psychological component in RPM.
Allocating Time for RPM
Time must be allocated as a priority to RPM. The physician should set up an incentive or reward system for this person. During this “RPM mini-clinical” an outside support person helps the staff person in charge with identifying patients and learning how easy VitalCare is for them to use.
Expanding the Program
As you start expanding the program, you will start having patients who are not as technically proficient, are more difficult to manage (habits again), or may need multiple devices and a tablet. As the program produces cash flow, occasionally purchasing a tablet for a patient might not be as big a deal. Again, keep the expense to a minimum so you see the positive cash flow.
You will likely have co-morbidity patients such as hypertensives with diabetes. Much like the straight hypertensive, these people may own a BP cuff and glucometer. The VitalTech glucometer is relatively inexpensive and the diabetic needs to use it daily. A weight scale plus glucometer might be the right choice. You follow the same protocol, but the Engagement and Communication will center more on diabetes management
Let us know when you would like to start your RPM Mini-Clinical.