Distant affected person monitoring use soared amongst Medicare beneficiaries in the course of the COVID-19 pandemic, in line with an evaluation printed in JAMA Inner Medication.
The examine reviewed conventional Medicare claims from Jan. 1, 2018, by way of Sept. 30, 2021, in search of distant affected person monitoring (RPM) CPT codes. That included new codes launched in 2019 for monitoring normal physiological information. Researchers then in contrast normal RPM use in the course of 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% bounce. Throughout the identical time, CGM use elevated solely 42%.
The examine additionally analyzed how these RPM companies have been getting used and by which practitioners. Throughout the pandemic, 63.1% of normal RPM was supplied by main care clinicians. In the meantime, 19.7% was supplied by cardiologists and 4.1% was supplied by pulmonology specialists.
The commonest main analysis for RPM care was hypertension, representing 62.5% of RPM companies. Diabetes made up 8.3%, whereas sleep issues have been cited for 3.9% of claims and hyperlipidemia, or excessive ldl cholesterol, for 3.5%.
The researchers famous that main analysis diverse inside specialties; for example, sleep and respiratory issues made up 76.4% of normal RPM for pulmonologists. General, hypertension monitoring by main care suppliers dominated RPM use in the course of the pandemic, making up 42.7% of companies.
WHY IT MATTERS
Though nonetheless small, the expansion of RPM might have a severe affect on value if use continues. The examine’s authors be aware many Medicare beneficiaries have hypertension, an enormous use case seen on this evaluation.
However they argue extra analysis is required to determine when RPM shall be most helpful.
“Prices should be balanced with RPM’s potential advantages, similar to decreasing hospital admissions. Randomized medical trials of RPM confirmed blended outcomes general, however some focused use circumstances confirmed promise,” the researchers wrote. “Additional analysis is important to establish medical eventualities through which RPM is most useful and to grasp which sufferers are utilizing it and whether or not there are teams dealing with entry points.”
THE LARGER TREND
Quite a lot of corporations are providing RPM expertise. Biofourmis, which focuses on AI-backed monitoring in addition to digital therapeutics, not too long ago added one other $20 million to its $300 million Sequence D elevate first introduced in April.
Related well being tech firm Withings additionally launched its personal RPM service utilizing its wearables, scales and sleep mats, whereas Alio acquired FDA 510(ok) clearance for a monitoring system that collects information on pores and skin temperature, auscultation and coronary heart price.
In the meantime, the Digital Medication Society (DiMe) final month launched 4 toolkits aimed toward serving to healthcare and life science organizations use sensor information from wearables and RPM programs at scale.