Long-term Remote Patient Monitoring Supports CHF Patients

According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), heart disease represents not only the leading cause of death in America, but also one of the most lethal, resulting in the mortality of roughly half its patients within 5 years of diagnosis.

This rapidly-progressive condition dramatically alters the quality of a patient’s life in a variety of ways, typically requiring specialty oversight with high-cost healthcare resources, such as urgent care, ER, and frequent hospitalizations.

The cost of care for CHF patients is also extremely high: the American Heart Association (AHA) projects that between 2010 and 2030, real total direct medical costs are projected to triple, from $273 billion to $818 billion. And healthcare providers have noted the cost of managing CHF patients can reach more than $12K per patient, per year.

While these overall statistics sound daunting, it’s important to note there is a technology solution available to address CHF patient populations: remote patient monitoring not only improves patient care, but also reduces its overall cost.

For hospitals or other healthcare organizations looking to avoid CMS penalties, lower readmissions and improve quality of life for patients in the long-term, RPM offers the following benefits:

  • Data-driven decision making based on a real-time collection of patient vital signs between clinical visits alerts clinicians of patients suffering symptomatic exacerbations for timely intervention.

 

  • Enhanced scalability – This technology provides clinical teams the ability to manage larger populations and reach patients in rural settings. Alerts protocols inform teams of priority patients while reporting tools provide insight about groups of patients for greater workflow efficiency for an increased population reach.

 

  • Revenue opportunities and ROI – Cost savings of more than $5K per patient per year have been reported: One study reported pre-RPM costs for CHF patient management to be about 12k per year. Post-RPM mean program costs were reduced to a little over 1200 per patient. Many meta-analysis note reductions in the following areas: readmission, all cause readmissions, length of stay, and mortality. Also, one study noted actionable results due to faster times to clinical decisions. CMS released CPT code 99091 for RPM reimbursement, further acknowledgement of the value of the data to patient care.

 

  • And healthcare providers are not the only ones taking note of the potential remote patient monitoring represents – reimbursement is becoming increasingly favorable with the recent CMS release of CPT code 99091 for RPM reimbursement, further acknowledgement of the value of the data to patient care in addition to other telehealth solutions. This code can be used with CCM, TCM, and behavioral health integration codes. Also, Chronic Care Act and individual state programs support the use of remote patient monitoring to improve patient outcomes.

Among all the roles telehealth plays in the healthcare system, none may be as crucial as managing CHF patients: reducing mortality rates, lowering costs, and improving overall patient care and safety.

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