The next chapter of Telehealth revolves around Point of Care (POC) and Remote Patient Monitoring (RPM) devices. With the flux of COVID, there was the push for video and remote functionality to ensure patients received care without the need for an office visit. As the healthcare space looks to expand the continuum of remote care, clinical care is dependent on devices or the collection of FDA cleared data to diagnose or prescribe care remotely. COVID has also reinforced the criticality to capture individuals vitals remotely, at work or for screening purposes.
“Point of Care” streamlines the diagnostic process and helps ensure individuals receive the most effective and efficient care when and where it is needed. POC devices provide peace of mind to remote workforces by allowing them to make rapid triage and treatment decisions allowing for effective and quality care outside of traditional healthcare facilities.
RPM enables patients to be an active participant in their healthcare management. It allows providers to view daily vitals and patient data, giving them the ability to monitor disease progression in near-real time. It also enables near real-time feedback, make prescription adjustments, or provide other therapies without asking the patient to leave the comfort of their own home.
RPM helps providers empower patients to better manage their health. Clinicians can strengthen their relationships with patients, by the development of a personalized care plan which allows the patient to be part of a joint decision-making process which fosters improved outcomes.
Point-of-care testing allows diagnoses in an ambulance, the home, the job site or in the field. Some examples include
• Airline Industry
• Developing Nations
• Entertainment Venues
• Educational Institutions
• Corrections or Justice Facilities
• Health Screening Event
The Growing Risk of Chronic Conditions
The cost of healthcare has soared to untenable heights. In the United States, federal healthcare spending is rapidly approaching 20% of GDP.
• Chronic disease is highly prevalent, accounting for nearly 90% of all healthcare spending in the United States.
• It costs nearly 3.5 times more to treat chronic diseases than it does other conditions, and they account for 80% of all hospital admissions.
• The Center for Disease Control (CDC) statistics reveal that 60% of adults have at least one chronic condition.
• More than two thirds of all deaths are caused by one or more of these five chronic diseases: heart disease, cancer, stroke, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, and diabetes.
Studies show that RPM and Point of Care tools are the most critical to decreasing hospital admissions and improving long term outcomes in patients with acute & chronic conditions.
Allows individuals to use a FDA cleared mobile medical device to collect key physiologic measurements and share that data with their healthcare providers in near real-time without the necessity of visiting a medical facility. This advantage is of great importance for people with long-term illnesses, who require more frequent communication with healthcare professionals.
Flexibility and accessibility are societal expectations now. Incorporating these devices in chronic disease management and emergency care can significantly improve a person's quality of life as it minimizes the time spent on the road or in waiting rooms.
Proximity to healthcare options has always been a limiting variable to quality and consistency of care. To allow healthcare providers to reach out to new potential patients, while also providing care to patients who live far from an office or are currently traveling.
Devices drive savings for insurers, providers and patients by reducing hospitalizations, readmission rates, and minimizing unneeded face to face interactions. Healthcare providers can develop a personalized care plan and can gain a more holistic view of a patient’s health over time. This increased visibility into a patient’s adherence can also enable timely intervention before a costly care episode, as well as allow mobile healthcare providers accelerated decision making ability.
CMS requirements are as follows:
Patient onboarding and education.
Kit supply with daily tracking and alerts.
First 20 minutes of monitoring.
Each additional 20 minutes of monitoring.
*Note: Figures noted above are estimates and may vary. Medicare Advantage plans by default will reimburse on the fee schedule set by CMS; some states and commercial payers also reimburse on them. – https://www.cms.gov/apps/physician-fee-schedule/overview.aspx