Value-based healthcare with RPM
Remote patient monitoring (RPM) will foster a number of benefits of its technology. Firstly, it will accelerate interoperability of disparate digital monitoring technologies, electronic health records (EHRs) and patient portals. The ability of different technologies to talk to each other and to EHRs is at the heart of potential benefits of electronic health data. Secondly, it will change the culture of healthcare to shift the focus from the provider to the patient. Data emanating from patients will de facto involve patients more than they are now in their own care. Seeing the data will educate them and facilitate self-management (to detractors of the concept of self-management, patients have been self-managing diabetes for decades). RPM will increase interest in (and hopefully use of) patient portals that will be mobile hubs of patient health records and communication. This will also herald an introduction into the use of mobile apps by patients, recommended by providers. The issue surrounding reimbursement for health apps in general will also be resolved as it follows the path of RPM.
Organizations adopting RPM will be those who have value-based or bundled payment systems or who realize that determining the ROI of technology in healthcare can be complex and that the predictable prevention of penalties is a good starting place. Improving longer term outcomes of RPM certainly needs more study.
While RPM is not new, its place as a leader of technology in the new payment system healthcare space is. RPM is well-suited for bundled payment systems because it is not just a technology. It involves the creation of processes and changes in workflow around the technology, some of which are home-based and some office and hospital-based. The success of RPM depends upon physician champions who will design these processes, and devise alert self-management, provider notification and treatment algorithms. RPM, via technology, can be the door to better provider-patient communication, more meaningful office follow-up visits and increased caregiver participation.