Research: Medicare distant affected person monitoring use surges throughout pandemic

Distant affected person monitoring use soared amongst Medicare beneficiaries through the COVID-19 pandemic, in line with an evaluation revealed in JAMA Inside Drugs

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 basic physiological information. Researchers then in contrast basic RPM use through the pandemic to steady glucose monitoring, a extra particular case with completely different CPT codes.

They discovered basic 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 examine additionally analyzed how these RPM providers had been getting used and by which practitioners. Throughout the pandemic, 63.1% of basic RPM was supplied by major care clinicians. In the meantime, 19.7% was supplied by cardiologists and 4.1% was provided by pulmonology specialists. 

The most typical major prognosis for RPM care was hypertension, representing 62.5% of RPM providers. 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 prognosis diversified inside specialties; as an illustration, sleep and respiratory problems made up 76.4% of basic RPM for pulmonologists. Total, hypertension monitoring by major care suppliers dominated RPM use through the pandemic, making up 42.7% of providers. 


Though nonetheless small, the expansion of RPM might have a severe impression on price 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 will probably be most helpful. 

“Prices should be balanced with RPM’s potential advantages, corresponding 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 critical to determine medical eventualities during which RPM is most helpful and to know which sufferers are utilizing it and whether or not there are teams going through entry points.”


Quite a lot of firms are providing RPM know-how. 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 Collection D increase 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 acquired FDA 510(ok) clearance for a monitoring system that collects information 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 information from wearables and RPM methods at scale. 

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