Remote physiological monitoring (RPM) started as a basic care and communication tool. Throughout the past few years, it’s evolved to be utilized along with more comprehensive medical services and treatment plans. Now, beginning on January 1, 2022, medical providers will have an additional way to provide digital health services and seek Medicare reimbursement: remote therapeutic monitoring (RTM).
Five new RTM CPT codes have been released as part of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) 2022 Physician Fee Schedule final rule. As the future of the doctor-patient relationship changes to meet the demands of the digital world today, providers should continue to educate themselves on the capabilities and updates related to RPM, RTM, CPT codes, and best-use practices. This article provides an overview of all of these topics, so you can have the latest information as you start the new year.
CPT Coding Updates
Knowing the latest updates in the CMS current procedural terminology (CPT) codes is essential in the implementation of remote therapeutic monitoring. These RTM codes cover medical management that includes collecting data for therapy adherence, therapy response, and pain levels. While RPM codes are used to track physiologic data, RTM codes are used for tracking non-physiological data.
Here are the new reimbursement codes for remote therapeutic monitoring.
- Initial Set-up and Patient Education (CPT code 98975): Remote therapeutic monitoring (e.g., respiratory system status, musculoskeletal system status, therapy adherence, and therapy response); initial set-up and patient education on the use of equipment
- Supply of Device for Monitoring Respiratory System (CPT code 98976): Remote therapeutic monitoring (e.g., respiratory system status, musculoskeletal system status, therapy adherence, and therapy response); device(s) supply with scheduled daily recording and/or programmed alert transmission to monitor respiratory system, each 30 days
- Supply of Device for Monitoring Musculoskeletal System (CPT code 98977): Remote therapeutic monitoring (e.g., respiratory system status, musculoskeletal system status, therapy adherence, and therapy response); device(s) supply with scheduled daily recording and/or programmed alert transmission to monitor respiratory system, each 30 days
- Monitoring/Treatment Management Services, first 20 minutes (CPT code 98980): Remote therapeutic monitoring treatment management services, physician/other qualified health care professional time in a calendar month requiring at least one interactive communication with the patient/caregiver during the calendar month for the first 20 minutes
- Monitoring/Treatment Management Services, each additional 20 minutes (CPT code 98981): Remote therapeutic monitoring treatment management services, physician/other qualified health care professional time in a calendar month requiring at least one interactive communication with the patient/caregiver during the calendar month; each additional 20 minutes (listed separately in addition to code for primary procedure)
RPM and RTM Offer Convenience for Patients and Providers
Due to the added risks of in-office visits, COVID-19 forced the healthcare industry to begin reshaping how it functions. The use of telehealth services, including RPM, increased by over 150% between 2019 and 2020. This trend is predicted to continue in 2022 as the number and types of remote offerings increase over the coming years.
The need for specialized care at home will continue to increase as the population ages and technology evolves. In some cases, however, office visits may still be required. Even so, with a remote solution, like RPM or RTM, healthcare workers can help far more patients while saving time, whether it be for a basic checkup or a specialized chronic care service. This is a win for patients and everyone in the medical industry.
RPM and RTM Provide Streamlined Access to Constant Data
With the use of remote monitoring devices, medical personnel now have the ability to assess real-time, validated patient information. In the past, this kind of information was limited to on-site visits. The RPM system also allows a provider to view information regardless of their location. This creates a constant data feed, adding to the quality of care for patients and providing a level of monitoring that was previously only available in the office.
Patients’ RTM devices are monitored continuously through a customizable system. This system can trigger automatic communication with the doctor’s office if the patient’s readings reach a certain threshold. This is essential for patients needing treatment for chronic conditions because certain changes can drastically affect quality of life or even prove to be the difference between life and death.
With this constant outflow of information, providers can keep a close eye on more patients than ever before. They’re able to improve efficiency but maintain the level of quality and personal attention given to the patient. In many ways, both RPM and RTM provide a higher level of attention than a regular in-office visit does.
The Future of RPM and RTM
As patients continue to seek out non-face-to-face medical services in the coming year, RPM and RTM will be more important than ever. With a successful RTM and RPM platform rollout, the benefits of this new technology can be applied to patient care and to the business side of medical organizations. It’s clear that the costs of RPM and RTM adoption are quickly overshadowed by its benefits.
When it comes to remote care, CoachCare provides an easy-to-use and cost-effective platform for communication and tech integration. This comprehensive offering can improve the quality of service for practitioners and the quality of life for patients. For more information about reimbursement using RPM and RTM codes, take a look at CoachCare’s reimbursement calculator or request a demo of the platform today!