There are many benefits to leveraging Remote Therapeutic Monitoring (RTM) for physical therapists and occupational therapists — particularly those who encourage patients to adhere to at-home exercise regimens.
As of January 1, 2022, CMS approved 5 new The Current Procedural Terminology (CPT) codes for RTM technology, including 98975, 98976, 98977, 98980, and 98981.
These are a bit different than remote patient monitoring (RPM) codes because they don’t require that healthcare professionals track physiologic data.
On the contrary, RTM codes are designed to track non-physiologic data related to the musculoskeletal and respiratory systems. These codes don’t track data related to other systems, including neurological, vascular, endocrine, and digestive systems.
These codes also encompass monitoring adherence and response to various therapeutic treatments, including home exercise program compliance.
In this blog post, we’ll run through the ways physical therapists and occupational therapists can use RTM codes in evaluation and management to improve patient health outcomes.
We’ll also discuss how RTM codes can boost your clinic’s revenue and improve your clinic’s practice overall.
Below are some of the most significant benefits of RTM.
Collect More Accurate Patient Data
You can use RTM to collect health data from patients that’s more accurate than what you would be able to obtain in person. This data can be used to improve patient health outcomes by providing objective data that can be used to improve your treatment plans.
RTM collects health data including respiratory system status, musculoskeletal system status, therapy/medication adherence, and therapy/medication response to monitor patients’ respiratory or musculoskeletal systems.
Improve Patient Engagement and Compliance
Patients who are more engaged in their care tend to have better health outcomes. RTM can help improve patient engagement by making it easy for patients to track their health and see how their care is progressing.
This can help improve patient compliance with treatment plans and make it more likely that patients will stick with their care plan. Putting the power in patients’ hands to play a more active role in their own care management plan leads to better health outcomes, according to the CDC.
“A growing body of evidence shows that people with higher patient activation (i.e., the knowledge, skills, and confidence to become actively engaged in their health care) have better health outcomes,” CDC authors wrote.
Health literacy, patient activation and health information seeking, and health data comprehension and use are each indicative of higher rates of patient engagement and may improve patient health outcomes.
Improve Patient Access to Care
RTM can improve patient access to care by making it easier for patients to get the care they need remotely. This can be especially beneficial for patients who live in rural areas, or those who have transportation challenges.
In the same way that remote patient monitoring (RPM) technology can improve patient access to care for those in rural areas or those with limited mobility, RTM can connect patients with healthcare professionals regardless of where they live. This helps to close the gap a bit on certain disparities in healthcare, including location.
RTM can help reduce the cost of care by making it easier for healthcare professionals to collect data and, by virtue of having access to this information, more accurately treat patients. This can help healthcare professionals save money on office visits, lab tests, and other costs associated with care.
Leveraging RTM can also promote greater patient adherence to at-home exercise programs. Adherence to home exercise plans is associated with reduced pain and lower incidents of disability.
By enabling patients to receive more proactive care, RTM can reduce healthcare costs associated with hospitalizations, adverse health outcomes, and other costly issues.
Improve Patient Health Outcomes
RTM can help improve patient health outcomes by making it easier for healthcare professionals to collect relevant health data. This can help healthcare professionals improve quality of care through more accurate clinical insights, which, in turn, increases the likelihood that patients will see positive results.
Collecting data is key in clinical settings because it helps providers track progress and identify areas where clinical intervention may be necessary.
Improve Patients’ Adherence to Their Home Exercise Plans
RTM can also help improve patients’ adherence to their home exercise plans, which is a crucial aspect of any clinical approach related to occupational therapy or physical therapy.
Patients with chronic pain often find it difficult to stick to their home exercise plans. This can be due to several factors, including pain flare-ups, fatigue, and difficulty completing the exercises.
However, research has shown that patients who are able to adhere to their home exercise plans often experience less pain and disability. They are also more likely to return to work and other daily activities.
“Adherence is reported to have clear links to the impact on clinical outcome in medication research, as well as placing significant additional economic burdens on health care providers,” wrote authors in one NIH study.
One way to help patients adhere to their home exercise plans is to use a remote patient monitoring (RPM) system. RPM systems allow healthcare providers to remotely monitor patients’ progress and ensure that they are completing their exercises correctly and at the prescribed frequency.
RPM systems can help improve patients’ adherence to their home exercise plans by making it easier for patients to get the care they need. Additionally, RPM systems can also help to reduce pain and disability and improve patients’ overall quality of life.
If you’re looking for an effective care management solution for your patients, Medistics can help. Whether your patient has chronic conditions, behavioral health conditions, or just needs help transitioning out of an inpatient facility, Medistics is there to simplify their experience. Schedule a meeting today.