Telemedical Partners posts about topics related to chronic care management and remote patient monitoring services, devices and market information
When we work with our new clients, there are certain questions that always come up. These are the questions left unanswered prevent you from starting remote patient monitoring. Let's review them here.
We are too busy already...
We have yet to meet a practice where the staff is not fully occupied often to the point of burnout. The key to RPM is to view it as a new profit center. One person, perhaps a part-time PA, is given responsibility for the program. They research the "charts" for the right patients. Then contact them about joining this exciting new outreach program. Next schedule them for an appointment where the PA explains the details, introduces the VitalCare app, sets up the monitoring devices and trains the patient. The PA also uses the VitalCare administration dashboard to monitor the patients contacting them when Alerts appear or when other To Dos pop up. The PA also sends messages, surveys, questionnaires and makes the monthly support phone call. The same PA downloads the support for reimbursement and watches over the entire program.
No more time consuming extra work!!
Does RPM reimbursement work?
Medical practices and home health agencies are being reimbursed by CMS and depending upon your state, private insurance and Medicaid. One stipulation is that the device are used at least 50% of the days of a month, which we interpret as 16 times. All time spent by you and your staff is automatically recorded and documented in VitalCare. Your video and audio calls are covered separately if the patient is not on RPM. Again this is done through VitalCare so you have a real time record.
Do I have to give the devices to the patient?
CPT Code 99454 requires that the practice supply the monitoring devices. VitalTech supplies (sells) FDA cleared, Bluetooth monitoring devices that easily pair to the VitalCare app. Your practice can loan devices but do not have to give them away for free. We suggest the patient sign a form (we provide one) that they are borrowing the devices. If they drop out of the program they must return them in good working order or else they own the device(s).
What about device inventory?
When you schedule the RPM appointment, we can have the devices drop shipped to your office or the patient. If to the patient, they need to bring the devices in for their RPM appointment. So you do not carry inventory and only order after you have confirmed the appointment. Keep in mind that RPM requires a separate appointment and you cannot do this at the AWV or other visit.
What about the cost of devices and VitalCare?
If you supply the weight scale, patients are will find this the easiest device to us and are more likely to use it daily meeting the threshold. If you are managing their nutrition (the VitalCare app supports this quite nicely) and the plan is to help control their diabetes, hypertension and other conditions that way, the scale may be the only device you need. The first month your practice is reimbursed for training (CPT 99453) and data (CPT 99454) totaling $81.21 (before regional adjustments). The VitalCare Weight Scale is $74.99. So you break even the first month.
VitalCare is invoiced monthly for the total licenses in use that month. So you are paying for them the month after again helping cash flow.
And keep in mind, RPM is now a heavily weighted factor in your MIPS.