Chronic Care Management (CCM) and Remote Patient Management are Medicare programs that improve the care of patients with chronic conditions. We help practices set up their own CCM and RPM programs, so they can directly manage their patients without sharing their Medicare payments with a third party service.
Lower is Better
Dr Tom Frieden, former director of CDC, referred to the Final Report of a Trial of Intensive versus Standard Blood-Pressure Control, published in May in the New England Journal of Medicine.
Conclusions:”Among patients who were at increased cardiovascular risk, targeting a systolic blood pressure of less than 120 mm Hg resulted in lower rates of major adverse cardiovascular events and lower all-cause mortality than targeting a systolic blood pressure of less than 140 mm Hg…”
This month I also updated by comparison of the Healthmote BT-105 and the new CardioBlip by Carrematix to our office sphygmomanometer. We are still in the process of talking with both of these companies about their products as we continue to mainly use the Healthmote system for our own RPM services.
More Healthmote Experience
Healthmote continues to lend itself to a growth of patients using RPM. It is easier to set up than Qardio, and we have found that easily more than twice the number of Medicare patients can use the simple one-button Healthmote device compared to Qardio. Send your CCM and RPM questions to mark(at)vaughanmd.com. Emails may not receive a reply, but answers to the most popular questions will be provided in future episode of the CCM Pays and RPM Podcast.
I am excited to tell you about both of our new sponsors. You can learn more about their products by clicking on the Foracare and Healthmote links. Foracare is covered in an earlier dedicated episode. Most of this episode describes the benefits and features of the Healthmote Remote Patient Monitoring (RPM) system. I also give some thoughts regarding the structure of staffing for RPM coverage.
Medicare 2021 RPM Update
Link to Official CMS Policy
There are a couple updates to RPM rules which provide significant clarification to time necessary for RPM monthly management and the nature of communication satisfying the “interactive communication” requirement.
I am sharing my initial thoughts on the ForaCare D40g cellular (3G) BP monitor and glucometer. It is ideally suited for Remote Patient Monitoring. It eliminates the need for patients to have or operate a bluetooth mobile device, as is required to use the Qardio Arm. It also has some innovative time-saving features included in their online monitoring dashboard, Healthview 24/7.
Promotional consideration was provided to me in the form of discounted units for review.
Companion Fora D40g Video
Welcome to the mid-Summer CCM Pays podcast for 2020. I’d like to focus again on aspects of providing Remote Patient Monitoring services. By the way, if you are doing CCM without RPM, you are missing out on a great opportunity to better manage hypertensive patients and increase practice revenue by at least the amount you make with CCM alone.
RPM pays very well. The 99454 code pays about $69 monthly. We need to plan to provide platinum level support for these patients when the monthly payment is not that much less than your one-time cost for purchasing the unit. Our practice is to help patients at no additional cost whenever they have any difficulty with their Qardio unit. I say Qardio unit, because we have chosen to use the Qardio Arm in our implementation of RPM.
If a patient has a problem getting the system to work, we try to troubleshoot by phone if possible. If that doesn’t work, we have the patient bring in both the Qardio arm unit and the mobile device the patient uses with it. Oftentimes we only have to bluetooth pair the unit to the mobile device following an accidental erasing of the Qardio from the Bluetooth devices on the mobile phone or pad. Other times we find that the pairing is fine, but the Qardio device has an error. Sometimes just having the patient reposition the unit in a more medial position on the arm and allowing a loose fit of the cuff fixes the problem. Sometimes the unit just needs fresh batteries. Other times we find a leak in the cuff or mechanical pump failure evidenced by a unit which never achieves a pressure high enough to measure the patient’s systolic pressure. When we come across a mechanical failure, we just exchange the unit for a new one and re-pair the patient’s mobile device with the new unit. We have even had success with getting replacements from Qardio by emailing support with the model numbers of the defective units.
I cannot overemphasize how great RPM has been for hypertensive management and practice revenue. If you don’t already have your own in-house RPM program, visit RPMpays.com to learn how to start your own program without having to share any of the revenue with outside parties. Thanks for listening.