Distant affected person monitoring use soared amongst Medicare beneficiaries throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, based on an analysis published in JAMA Internal Medicine.
The research reviewed conventional Medicare claims from Jan. 1, 2018, by way of Sept. 30, 2021, on the lookout for distant affected person monitoring (RPM) CPT codes. That included new codes introduced in 2019 for monitoring normal physiological knowledge. Researchers then in contrast normal RPM use throughout the pandemic to steady glucose monitoring, a extra particular case with totally different CPT codes.
They discovered normal RPM use elevated from 91 claims per 100,000 enrollees in February 2020 to 594 claims per 100,000 enrollees in September 2021, representing a 555% leap. Throughout the identical time, CGM use elevated solely 42%.
The research additionally analyzed how these RPM companies had been getting used and by which practitioners. Throughout the pandemic, 63.1% of normal RPM was offered by major care clinicians. In the meantime, 19.7% was offered by cardiologists and 4.1% was provided by pulmonology specialists.
The most typical major analysis for RPM care was hypertension, representing 62.5% of RPM companies. Diabetes made up 8.3%, whereas sleep problems had been cited for 3.9% of claims and hyperlipidemia, or excessive ldl cholesterol, for 3.5%.
The researchers famous that major analysis diversified inside specialties; as an illustration, sleep and respiratory problems made up 76.4% of normal RPM for pulmonologists. General, hypertension monitoring by major care suppliers dominated RPM use throughout the pandemic, making up 42.7% of companies.
WHY IT MATTERS
Though nonetheless small, the expansion of RPM might have a critical affect on price if use continues. The research’s authors notice many Medicare beneficiaries have hypertension, an enormous use case seen on this evaluation.
However they argue extra analysis is required to determine when RPM will probably be most helpful.
“Prices have to be balanced with RPM’s potential advantages, comparable to lowering hospital admissions. Randomized scientific trials of RPM confirmed combined outcomes total, however some focused use circumstances confirmed promise,” the researchers wrote. “Additional analysis is important to establish scientific situations through which RPM is most useful and to know which sufferers are utilizing it and whether or not there are teams dealing with entry points.”
THE LARGER TREND
A wide range of corporations are providing RPM expertise. Biofourmis, which focuses on AI-backed monitoring in addition to digital therapeutics, just lately added one other $20 million to its $300 million Sequence D elevate first introduced in April.
Linked well being tech firm Withings additionally launched its personal RPM service utilizing its wearables, scales and sleep mats, whereas Alio obtained FDA 510(ok) clearance for a monitoring system that collects knowledge on pores and skin temperature, auscultation and coronary heart fee.
In the meantime, the Digital Drugs Society (DiMe) final month launched 4 toolkits aimed toward serving to healthcare and life science organizations use sensor knowledge from wearables and RPM programs at scale.