Tag Archives: TriageLogic

The Expanding World of Telehealth

TriageLogic

By Ravi K. Raheja, MD

The pandemic accelerated the use of telemedicine, and indications are that it’s here to stay. Patients and families have largely embraced it as a convenient means of medical care for concerns and questions that do not require an in-person visit, while more providers—including primary care and specialists—have continued to adopt it. As a result of the increasing demand for telehealth, the triage nurse protocols written by Dr. Schmitt and Dr. Thompson contain updated support for triage nurses to schedule telehealth visits.

In addition, the medical community faces two new challenges from COVID. First, the spread of the more transmissible Delta variant; and second, the rise in patient callers who are nervous and confused about whether their mild-to-moderate symptoms are indications of infection. One of the best options that practices can implement to offset these concerns is by coupling their telehealth with telephone nurse triage.

Leverage Gold Standard Protocols

Most telephone nurse triage relies on protocols developed by Drs. Schmitt and Thompson to assess patient symptoms and provide dispositions on whether to seek emergency medical care. Updated to address COVID-19, the protocols were particularly beneficial to callers during the height of the pandemic 

Maximize Patient Coverage

Social distancing and telehealth have created an influx in patient calls in addition to normal appointments. But in-house staff may feel limited in being able to address all of them, especially when patients call after-hours. This is where nurse triage can complement a practice’s efforts by acting as an extension of the practice to evaluate patient symptoms, schedule appointments, and offer customized orders. 

More importantly, most telephone triage services are available 24/7.

Improve Telehealth Services

Not only can triage nurses schedule patient appointments for a practice, but they can also use protocols to determine whether those appointments are eligible for telehealth. Effective telehealth documents all calls and dispositions. Then it shares all documents with the nursing staff and providers, including telehealth eligibility and the rationale for it. 

This reduces the stress on an inhouse team to manage these appointments, provides a seamless process for callers, and allows a practice to increase its capacity for seeing in-person patients with more urgent needs.

Customize Instructions for Eligibility

Telehealth and telemedicine services differ from other offerings; this requires customized instructions for triage nurses to know which ones a practice offers. When a nurse decides telehealth eligibility, that determination depends on whether the healthcare symptom can be resolved over the phone. 

Conclusion

Telehealth is expanding to fill a new and critical role in the effective provision of healthcare services.

TriageLogic


Ravi K. Raheja, MD is the CTO and medical director of the TriageLogic Group. Founded in 2007, TriageLogic is a URAC-accredited, physician-led provider of quality nurse telehealth technology, remote patient monitoring, and medical call center solutions. The TriageLogic Group serves more than 9,000 physicians and covers over 25 million lives nationwide. To learn more, call 800-723-4290 or go to https://triagelogic.com/contact-us/.

TriageLogic Ebook Details Changes in Patient Behavior During COVID-19 Pandemic

TriageLogic

TriageLogic® released a study they conducted of their telephone nurse triage system during the COVID-19 pandemic that analyzes caller data, protocols used, and general changes in patient behavior to shed light on the efficacy of remote care in the modern medical age.

COVID-19 altered many patients’ perceptions of healthcare. So much of the population was afraid of contracting the virus, and this fear was exacerbated by the potential risk of exposure in a hospital setting. As a result, telephone nurse triage took on a critical role, not only helping patients determine the circumstances under which they should seek emergency treatment, but also slowing the spread of the infection. 

TriageLogic already had experience providing homecare advice to patients, scheduling telehealth appointments, and directing emergency cases to the appropriate providers, and these only became more important during the pandemic. To evaluate how those patients’ needs changed, the company reviewed patient demographics, medical conditions, and outcomes reported through their nurse triage call center from January to October of 2020. The resulting data is published in their ebook 2020 Telehealth in Review: Symptoms, Outcomes and COVID.

It supports the assertion that nurse triage and remote care are essential advisors when it comes to directing patients to emergency services or safe and accessible alternatives. Key findings from the study include:

  • Women called two to three times more frequently than men, possibly due to OB/GYN patients. 
  • Gender ratios were roughly the same for pediatric patients.
  • More than one-in-four adults who called the nurse triage service required urgent medical attention, yet 86 percent of patients indicated they were not originally planning to go to the ER.
  • Women ages 18–45 tended to have more serious symptoms than other adult patients and were 1.5 times as likely to need urgent care than men their age. 
  • Women were also more likely to underestimate the severity of their symptoms compared to all other patient groups. 
  • Triage protocols determined that 30 percent of patients who were planning to go to the ER did not actually need urgent care, prompting nurses to advise them on alternative nonemergency options. 
  • Patients tended to underestimate symptoms that were signs of a serious medical condition, including abdominal pain, difficulty breathing, chest pain, high blood pressure, and COVID diagnosis or exposure.
  • Patients were more likely to delay seeking care during the pandemic when compared with data collected prior to COVID.
  • Telephone nurse triage has provided a safe and effective way to advise patients on the appropriate levels of care, saving lives and reducing burdens on healthcare systems during the COVID pandemic.

This data has been made available to the medical community at large to provide a transparent understanding of patient conduct and needs as the healthcare industry continues to evolve. 

TriageLogic

TriageLogic is a URAC-accredited, physician-led provider of top-quality nurse telehealth technology, remote patient monitoring, and medical call center solutions, all for the purpose of encouraging positive patient behavior and improving access to healthcare. Founded in 2007, the TriageLogic Group now serves more than 9,000 physicians and covers over 20 million lives nationwide. They continue to partner with private practices, hospitals, and corporations throughout the United States. Email them at info@triagelogic.com.

Vendor Spotlight on TriageLogic

TriageLogic

New Age in Healthcare: Telephone Nurse Triage and Remote Patient Monitoring

In 2007, Ravi Raheja, MD and Charu Raheja, Ph.D. founded TriageLogic with the purpose of using modern nurse telehealth technology and medical expertise to improve access to healthcare. The goal of TriageLogic is to facilitate care over the phone and ensure everyone receives the same standard of care regardless of where they live. The company offers nurse triage software solutions, outsourced nurse triage services, and remote patient monitoring services. Additionally, TriageLogic has mobile technology, which allows patients to contact nurses directly. 

Ravi Raheja serves as the medical director and COO and oversees all nursing and technology operations in the company. He helps to ensure superb quality patient care and provides customized solutions to both the software and the service clients. 

Over the last fourteen years, TriageLogic has stayed true to its mission and continues to provide innovative nurse telehealth technology. As healthcare has evolved, TriageLogic has continued to adapt and release new product lines to meet the changing needs of the industry.

The following lists some of the solutions available:

Nurse Triage On-Call

TriageLogic maintains one of the largest and most sophisticated URAC accredited nurse triage systems in the United States. Nurses use their proprietary software to evaluate symptoms presented by patients using standardized Schmitt-Thompson protocols. The software also allows an elevated level of custom workflows and orders for each practice. Nurses can share handouts with patients on behalf of doctors, and doctors can communicate securely with nurses and patients using HIPAA-compliant texting. In 2020, the company quickly ramped up its services and software implementation to help clients, as TriageLogic observed a call volume increase by as much as 35 percent due to COVID-19. The company also worked with organizations to set up emergency hotlines.

Remote Patient Monitoring (RPM)

As monitoring technologies continue to gain traction, the healthcare industry views RPM as a way to help control the cost of care for those with chronic diseases such as congestive heart failure, COPD, asthma, and diabetes. It also provides a reliable source of additional income for physician practices and healthcare organizations. 

However, the amount of data generated by monitoring devices is vast and requires a significant investment of time. TriageLogic has partnered with several device companies to create a full end-to-end monitoring program where clinical and non-clinical staff monitors the device data on behalf of doctors. 

The program makes it easy for doctors to monitor their chronically ill patients without adding administrative or clinical burden to their staff. TriageLogic can also create specific protocols for nurses to use based on devices and patient conditions. Remote patient monitoring provides accessible, affordable care for patients that both saves time and increases revenue for doctors. 

Clinical Call Center Software Solution 

TriageLogic offers customized software for organizations and call centers to manage patient phone calls. The software includes standard protocols by Dr. Schmitt and Dr. Thompson, and it offers several additional modules that can be added based on the needs of the organization. The software can also easily be added to the existing call center patient management system. 

Some of the benefits of the clinical call center software include training sessions with a triage expert, 24/7 IT support, secure data centers, mirror-image duplicate servers, and built-in disaster recovery. All software is web-based, so there is no installation required. Additionally, the software allows custom orders for practices. There is also an option to include a mobile application to better communicate with patients. TriageLogic also offers email and text message handouts for both Schmitt-Thompson protocols and care advice. 

Finally, they have a dedicated call center manager nurse director who does all the training for their clients. When a patient calls, the nurse enters symptom keywords to quickly access the correct protocol. The nurse uses a protocol checklist to ask all the right questions and direct the patient to the appropriate level of care. As the nurse handles the call, the telephone triage system documents all the details. It’s that easy.

Nurse Triage Software for Doctor Offices with Up-To-Date Protocols

MyTriageChecklist is a web-enabled software for practices to standardize how nurses handle and document patient phone calls. It takes less than an hour to implement, does not store any sensitive patient information, and offers an easy-to-use interface to ensure nurses ask and consistently document all relevant questions related to patient symptoms. Their director of nursing trains practice nurses and answers questions for clients during regularly scheduled training and review sessions. 

The MyTriageChecklist contains standardized triage protocols by Dr. Schmitt and Dr. Thompson, including COVID-19, which is updated in real-time. 

Reporting Portal

Lastly, all TriageLogic solutions come with a robust reporting portal to provide in-depth analytics on the outcomes from patient interaction. TriageLogic aims to stay ahead of the demands of healthcare and create ready-made and easy to implement solutions to continue helping providers give the best possible care to their patients.

TriageLogic is committed to improvement and aims to educate. The company’s Learning Center includes courses, videos, and additional reading materials for nurse training and for public benefit. The courses include case studies and call center data collected by the company’s call center.

TriageLogic

TriageLogic is a URAC accredited, physician-led provider of high-quality telehealth services, nurse triage, triage education, remote patient monitoring, and software for telephone medicine. Their comprehensive triage solution includes integrated mobile access and two-way video capability. The TriageLogic group serves over 9,000 physicians and covers over 20 million lives nationwide.

How Insurance Reimbursements Make Remote Patient Monitoring Profitable for Healthcare Organizations


TriageLogic

By Ravi K. Raheja, MD

The COVID-19 pandemic has encouraged healthcare organizations and physicians to adopt remote healthcare more readily, from telehealth visits to remote patient monitoring (RPM). The need to care for patients efficiently from their homes and to assess a potential serious health problem has ushered in the future of the industry. This improves patient outcomes and decreases morbidity and mortality. Reimbursement from commercial and government health insurers has made this shift financially possible for doctor’s offices and hospitals. 

According to a new report by McKinsey & Company, remote patient care will account for about $250 billion (about 20 percent) of what Medicare, Medicaid, and commercial insurers spend on outpatient, office and home health visits in the near future. Remote patient monitoring for chronic patients is part of this new, technological wave taking over healthcare to improve patient outcomes.

RPM devices track essential vital signs such as blood pressure, heart rate, blood glucose levels, oxygen saturation, and temperature. There are also RPM devices for weight, patient activity, and sleep. The kinds of devices are expanding and becoming more comprehensive all the time. Their goal is for doctors to be able to regularly monitor patient vitals for signs of change and be able to intervene before a patient presents a symptom that would lead them to seek care. This webinar explains the RPM model and how to non-clinical call centers can make the process efficient for doctors. 

Reimbursement for Remote Patient Monitoring

In 2017, The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) published a two-year study on its Chronic Care Management program, which laid out how RPM saved Medicare millions of dollars, decreased hospital readmissions, and increased patient education about their chronic ailment. These key goals make up a broad picture of value-based care.

CMS expanded their support for RPM since the pandemic stirred up interest in remote care projects. CPT (current procedural terminology) codes are available to help doctor offices make RPM programs profitable while also improving patient care. These codes provide a financial structure for physicians to receive reimbursement for the time spent and the equipment used. 

As far as actual figures, on average, CMS approved reimbursements of $120 per patient per month. Thinking bigger, if fifty patients enroll in an RPM program, a doctor’s office can generate $72,000 a year in revenue. 

Provider and Hospital Benefits

In addition to the increase in revenue from current patients, it is important to consider how RPM can affect a practice’s patient base. Some statistics are eye-opening. Nearly 25 percent of people polled stated they would switch to a new physician to access telehealth. As remote care becomes the norm and patients begin to acclimate to new platforms, it’s worthwhile to consider if patients can be lost to practices who use RPM. Fifty-one percent of patients are in some way uncomfortable with in-office visits, in addition to 42 percent feeling uncomfortable going to a hospital for any medical treatment, and 45 percent feeling uncomfortable using an urgent care or walk-in clinic. 

There are even more cost-saving CPT codes which can maximize profits. There is a code for initial setup of the device and patient education. An additional code can be billed each thirty days for supplying the device. Twenty minutes or more of clinical staff time in a calendar month spent interacting or communicating with a patient is also reimbursed. Collection and interpretation of data brought in by the device and digitally stored or transmitted to a patient through the physician is another helpful CPT code. 

Implementing Remote Patient Monitoring 

Setting up an RPM platform is an investment towards the future. Strive to create an onboarding experience that is efficient with minimum provider time. For example, nurses can educate patients, and non-clinical staff can track device data.

TriageLogic


Ravi K. Raheja, MD is the COO and medical director of the TriageLogic Group. Founded in 2007, TriageLogic is a URAC accredited, physician-lead provider of high-quality telehealth services, remote patient monitoring, nurse triage, triage education, and software for telephone medicine. Their comprehensive solutions include integrated mobile access and two-way video capability. The TriageLogic group serves over 9,000 physicians and covers over 20 million lives nationwide.

Remote Patient Monitoring and Nurse Triage


TriageLogic

By Dr. Ravi Raheja

Remote Patient Monitoring (RPM) is on track to be the future of healthcare, especially as the number of chronic care patients and the cost of healthcare increases annually. RPM is the use of technology to gather patient health data from an individual. A clinic or nurse call center electronically evaluates the information. RPM is gaining traction by many in the medical field because it improves patient care. 

Many of these devices can capture data that a patient may not necessarily observe. These regular readings give meaningful data that can help providers see the bigger picture when it comes to a patient’s condition and outcome. 

This technology, usually in the form of a device that goes home with a patient, can monitor important health factors such as blood pressure, blood sugar, and respiratory rate. It allows doctors and clinicians to regularly check patient vitals before a patient even presents a symptom that would require an office visit. 

Remote triage nurses help monitor patient data and ensure patient safety. After the patient returns home with their device, these nurses monitor all health information from it. Non-clinical staff make sure patients use the device properly and call them back if the data is not coming in as expected. 

Nurses review patient data and contact patients if they see concerning data. They ask patients questions to determine if physician intervention is needed. They also provide additional information or ask questions based on individualized physician instructions. Non-clinical and clinical staff are a bridge from patient to doctor, and they alleviate the burden on the providers.

In the United States, six in ten adults suffer from some form of a chronic disease, such as obesity, diabetes, or heart disease. Chronic diseases are responsible for 75 percent of the 3.5 trillion dollars spent on healthcare each year. Overall, an estimated widespread adoption of remote patient monitoring could save the U.S. as much as $6 billion annually.

For doctors and medical organizations, this translates into improved patient care while at the same time giving providers the ability to increase their annual revenue per patient. 

First, the regular monitoring of patient vitals provides efficient scheduling of follow up visits when necessary based on abnormal readings. 

Second, CMS reimburses doctors for the cost of the RPM device and for the time it takes to monitor patient vitals. The reimbursement amount allows doctors to earn extra income each month even after considering the costs of outsourcing the monitoring. 

RPM is on the forefront of healthcare. With the ability to closely monitor chronic patients in a safe, cost-effective manner, RPM is one of the fastest growing medical technologies in the medical field. The goal is to help both patients and physicians by providing tools to improve care while decreasing the burden on physicians.

TriageLogic

Dr. Ravi Raheja is the medical director at TriageLogic.

TriageLogic Releases Data on Remote Nurse Triage Calls


TriageLogic

TriageLogic®, a leader in telephone nurse triage and remote patient communication, released data pertaining to remote nurse triage in relation to the COVID-19 pandemic. The results of this study provide insight into how triage nurses can help hospitals and healthcare organizations provide high-quality remote care for patients during major public health episodes.

The COVID-19 pandemic has changed how doctors and health facilities care for patients. Between lockdown orders and public fear of going to doctor’s offices or hospitals, telemedicine and remote nurse triage has become a vital service for the healthcare industry. Through these changes, TriageLogic has kept meticulous records on patient sentiments, attitudes, demographics, and triage outcomes to help providers and hospitals better understand their patients. While doing so, TriageLogic has provided high quality care to callers by diverting patients without worrying symptoms with homecare advice or by scheduling telehealth visits.

With this data, TriageLogic extrapolated trends and insights to help the healthcare industry better understand the pandemic and patient responses to it. The white paper, “Nurse Triage: Patient Phone Calls About COVID-19,” is for all healthcare providers and organizations. 

The insights from this paper are helpful in explaining the importance of telephone triage and remote patient care. The numbers clearly support the fact that patients, in times of anxiety and genuine sickness, turned to these lines because they are an effective, convenient, and safe alternative to going to the emergency room or doctor’s office. This has helped alleviate the healthcare system during a time of record hospital admissions due to COVID-19.

This data is provided to the medical community in hopes that it sheds light on patients and their behavior during this challenging time. 

TriageLogic

TriageLogic (info@triagelogic.com) is a URAC-accredited, physician-led provider of top-quality nurse telehealth technology, remote patient monitoring, and medical call center solutions, all with the purpose of encouraging positive patient behavior and improving access to healthcare. Founded in 2006, the TriageLogic Group now serves more than 9,000 physicians and covers over 20 million lives nationwide.

Successful Telemedicine Service Strategy


TriageLogic

Dr. Ravi Raheja

Hospitals, specialty clinics, and other healthcare organizations are no longer leery of telemedicine and are in fact expanding to provide quality services and generate revenue. With this growth and success, there are many telemedicine options available for every organization. It is important to be aware of the factors that providers must consider to make telemedicine services successful for both the patients and the organization.

Outcomes

During the pandemic, telemedicine has enjoyed widescale adoption. One study suggests that among 39 percent of people who consulted a healthcare professional, two thirds of the patients used telemedicine and 84 percent of them used telemedicine for the first time. More than 55 percent of consumers reported a satisfactory experience while using telemedicine and stated they will most likely use it again. Healthcare professionals believe telemedicine usage will continue to increase.

A survey done by the Foley & Lardner Law Firm illustrates that telemedicine provides a great opportunity for practices and medical organizations to see a financial return.

  • Over 70 percent of respondents realized cost savings or ROI from their telemedicine services.
  • Nearly one third saw more than 20 percent savings.

Considerations

Although many companies see a positive ROI, it is important to make sure that the telemedicine service provider chosen is right for them. There are a variety of options. Selecting the right telemedicine service or software will determine the level of success.

Type of Telemedicine: While people think of telemedicine as mostly doctors available remotely to patients, often a telephone triage nurse can resolve patient issues and provide a path to care. In fact, a triage nurse can resolve three-quarters of all patient calls. Triage nurses can determine which patients need further care or to see a physician, saving both time and money. Organizations can have a complete telehealth system with a triage nurse as the first line of care to further increase ROI.

Integrated: The telemedicine software should be able to integrate seamlessly with current workflows. To ensure that work is not doubled by adding a new technology to the mix, the telemedicine software needs to be cohesive and allow for easy data transfer.

Support: As with any technology, issues may arise. A successful telemedicine service should have training and support available to troubleshoot any concerns. 

Adaptive: The healthcare industry is always evolving and transforming. Whether it is regulation, new discoveries, inventions, or patient expectations, the only way to be successful is to adapt. Telemedicine service and software should do the same. Look for a company that listens to their clients and makes upgrades to what they need.

Measure Success: The best way to determine the ROI of a telemedicine service is to establish a way to measure results. Choose a platform that includes different portals for clients to look at data and analyze it.

Conclusion

The telemedicine field has exploded and doesn’t seem to be stopping. Above are only a few factors to consider when implementing or expanding telemedicine services, but it is important to do the research to find which solution will be best for the organization.

TriageLogic

Dr. Ravi Raheja is the medical director at TriageLogic, a leader in telehealth technology and services. Contact TriageLogic for a live demo.

TriageLogic Software and Services Play Critical Role in COVID Telehealth


TriageLogic

As the COVID pandemic rapidly evolved, TriageLogic jumped into overdrive to help new and existing clients handle the coronavirus outbreak. They saw call volume skyrocket and knew that systems and software would need to be put into place for healthcare institutions to assist with the increased demand in a remote care environment.

TriageLogic software solutions, which use the gold-standard Schmitt-Thompson protocols, had COVID protocols included to provide the latest standard of care as CDC recommendations evolved. TriageLogic implemented the COVID protocols in their system and on their call center software client systems. They also quickly set-up additional hospitals with a nurse triage software platform to allow their nurses to work remotely and assist in the screening of COVID phone calls.

Using nurse triage protocols in conjunction with doctor e-visits improves coordination of care and allows doctors to safely delegate responsibility to their nurses. TriageLogic software has recommendations for nurses to transfer to doctor telehealth visits when applicable. The software also enables the nurses to text or email custom information sheets to patients when scheduling their e-visit, so the patients are informed about the process and how to connect with their doctor.

TriageLogic

To help doctors evaluate triage protocols for their practices, TriageLogic is offering a free 30-day trial for the office triage software.

TriageLogic Provides Remote Patient Monitoring Services


TriageLogic

TriageLogic has been working with device companies to provide monitoring of dashboards and evaluation of patients with abnormal readings. They can provide coverage 24/7 or just after hours to supplement healthcare providers’ current remote patient monitoring programs.

TriageLogic staff observes these patient dashboards. When an alert comes in, the staff can contact the provider or send the message to TriageLogic nurses for further evaluation. The nurses will follow the practice’s instructions to triage the patients and get them the appropriate follow up. Remote patient monitoring improves health outcomes and increases revenue for practices.

While TriageLogic has grown and participated in plans to confront this major health event, they’ve taken a close look at their vision and where they see themselves in the future. Their use of protocols ensures that everyone, no matter their situation, gets the best care advice to address their medical symptoms. Holding onto this thought, they hope to continue providing top-notch care through COVID and beyond.

TriageLogic’s vision is simply this: “To provide a uniform, high-standard of care to everyone, everywhere.”

TriageLogic

Learn more about TriageLogic and remote patient monitoring.

Remote Patient Monitoring: A Worthwhile Investment


TriageLogic

By Dr. Ravi Raheja

Remote patient monitoring is part of a new era of medical technology. In the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, remote services and technology have been extremely valuable to patients, doctors, and healthcare organizations. Remote patient care typically means helping patients over the phone. Remote patient monitoring (RPM) takes care one step further and helps doctors collect and evaluate data from patients who use an electronic medical device.

RPM is starting to gain traction by the medical field because it improves patient care. Many of these devices can capture data not observed by the patient. As a result, providers can monitor important vitals and intervene before a patient even presents a concerning symptom. This cuts down on both morbidity and mortality while saving costs and decreasing Emergency Room (ED) visits.

A recent article in the Center for Technology and Aging asserts that the healthcare industry “could reduce its costs by nearly 200 billion dollars during the next twenty-five years if remote monitoring tools were used routinely in cases of congestive heart failure, diabetes, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), and chronic wounds or skin ulcers.”

There are many questions for providers and hospitals to ask themselves as innovative technology continues to become available. Technology is an investment, and changes to existing systems require effort. Is remote patient monitoring worth it, and will it soon be the standard of care for chronically ill patients? What are some requirements to consider while setting up an RPM program?

Which Patients Benefit Most from RPM?

According to the CDC, six in ten Americans have a chronic condition such as heart disease, lung disease, or diabetes. Four in ten have two or more chronic conditions. These chronic patients help make up more than eighty five percent of the 3.5 trillion dollars in healthcare costs across the nation annually and are responsible for eighty percent of all hospital admissions. It costs 3.5 times more money to treat chronically ill patients than those without these conditions, and they make up many of the leading causes of death in Americans.

RPM is especially effective for these types of patients. Continuous management of chronic conditions is burdensome in traditional office or clinic settings. Patients bring in notebooks or phone apps filled with notes, self-assessments, and symptoms.

The onus is on the patient, and the reliability of that data falls into the hands of individuals, which can result in inconsistent or partially inaccurate information. RPM takes this burden from patients and relies on accurate, consistent technology. It also allows providers to measure additional important vitals and to receive the information daily.

Chronic health patients have been on the rise. We need solutions to help treat these patients in an effective and economical way. RPM addresses these needs.

How RPM Helps Manage Chronic Care Costs

A study published by the National institute of Health in 2016 by doctors Usha Sambamoorthi, Xi Tan, and Arijita Deb states that “The presence of MCC [multiple chronic conditions] has profound healthcare utilization and cost implications for public and private insurance payers, individuals, and families.”

These conditions require detailed, comprehensive care that can prove challenging. RPM allows for nurses and doctors to have access to health information of a patient in real time, and makes it possible for clinicians to issue health orders that can curb unnecessary emergency department visits by reacting to changes seen from a patient’s monitoring device.

It also gives doctors more access to their patients and creates opportunity for early education in patient behavior and an overview of patient participation in their treatment plan. Doctors can get a look into a patient’s activity and use nurses for check-ins to encourage the patient to comply with health orders.

It gives doctors the power to give quality care outside of clinical settings and increases health outcomes. RPM gives doctors the information they need on a timely basis, which allows for swift intervention for high-risk patients.

Benefits to Providers

One concern for doctors when implementing RPM is the possibility of an increased workload, with doctors having to monitor patients regularly even when the patient is not receiving direct care. Doctor burnout is common, and its alleviation has its own value.

An Ernst and Young’s 2018 survey on digital health showed that almost sixty five percent of physicians believe that “technology that captures consumer-generated data will reduce the burden on doctors and nurses specifically.”

However, there are solutions for providers to cut down on their work while providing better patient care through RPM. First, most monitoring devices have their technology programmed to inform the provider when there are anomalies or potential patient problems. Second, doctors can also use an outside remote nurse service to monitor the data coming from the devices. An efficient RPM company who provides this service can improve patient care while decreasing the workload on the physicians.

Industry Willingness to Implement RPM

According to a Spyglass Consulting Group report in 2019, at least 88 percent of healthcare organizations have an interest in investing in some form of remote patient monitoring technology to pivot to value-based care.

Eighty-nine percent of practices surveyed in Spyglass’s report say that they are actively drafting strategies to get patients to take an active, continuous role in managing their chronic health issues. RPM as a prong to this strategy gives a continuous link between patient and doctor, and it supports these kinds of initiatives.

Health insurance companies have shown an interest as well. In 2019 the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services proposed several amendments designed to increase remote patient monitoring programs by improving reimbursements.

Some of these amendments include reimbursements for RPM setup and patient education, which is a big incentive to providers who are thinking of implementing this technology. Revisions to who may monitor these devices have also occurred. This allows registered nurses (RNs) or medical assistants to do the bulk of the monitoring, freeing up physicians and nurse practitioners.

Conclusion

Remote patient monitoring offers a way for practices, hospitals, and health insurance companies to lower their costs, deliver continuous quality care, and alleviate doctor workloads. As we move forward, the value of remote patient monitoring will continue to evolve for healthcare organizations and implemented into care plans for the chronically ill.

TriageLogic

Dr. Ravi Raheja is the medical director at TriageLogic, a leader in telehealth technology and services. If you have any questions on how to implement remote monitoring for your patients, contact TriageLogic at info@triagelogic.com.