– 88% of health systems and hospitals surveyed have invested or plan to invest in remote patient monitoring solutions to support their organizational transitions to value-based care, according to the latest Spyglass Consulting Group report.
– Healthcare provider investments in RPM solutions are being driven by several underlying market factors including exploding healthcare costs, a rising aging baby boomer population, the increased prevalence of chronic disease, and continuous healthcare professional labor shortages.
A recent Spyglass Consulting Group study finds 88 percent of hospitals and health systems surveyed have invested or plan to invest in remote patient monitoring (RPM) solutions to help care managers monitor and manage complex high-risk patients with chronic conditions who are considered unstable and at-risk for hospital readmissions and/or unexpected emergency department visits.
The Spyglass Consulting Group report, Trends in Remote Patient Monitoring 2019, presents the findings of an end-user market study focused on the market opportunities and challenges for US-based healthcare provider organizations who have developed strategies and are considering new or incremental investments in remote patient monitoring (RPM) solutions.
The telephone-based interviews were conducted over a three-month period starting in April 2019. During the interviews, Spyglass identified the market requirements for RPM solutions through discussions about:
– impact and benefits for deploying RPM for supporting population health
– existing workflow inefficiencies in managing chronically ill patients, and
– challenges for integrating RPM with existing clinical processes, infrastructure, and tools.
Defining Remote Patient Monitoring Solutions (RPM)
RPM solutions enable risk-bearing organizations to remotely monitor and manage high-risk patients with chronic conditions including CHF, COPD, Diabetes, Hypertension, and Asthma in order to help control healthcare costs, improve care quality and outcomes and increase access to care for patients living in underserved rural/remote areas.
Healthcare provider investments in RPM solutions are being driven by several underlying market factors including exploding healthcare costs, a rising aging baby boomer population, the increased prevalence of chronic disease, and continuous healthcare professional labor shortages. There are more than 133 million Americans representing 45% of the U.S. population have at least one chronic disease. Chronic diseases are responsible for seven out of every 10 deaths in the United States, killing more than 1.7 million Americans every year.
Early Market Adopters
Early market adopters of RPM solutions are capitated managed care organizations with fiscal responsibility for their patients across the spectrum of care. This includes accountable care organizations, health maintenance organizations, home health agencies, hospices, disease management companies, and government agencies including the Department of Veterans Affairs.
The report finds that 89% of providers surveyed have developed or are in the process of developing engagement strategies to encourage patients, family members, and caregivers to take a proactive role in managing their chronic conditions. They are leveraging mobile technologies including Smartphones and Tablets, deploying EHR-based patient portals, offering telehealth video conferencing services, and evaluating emerging healthcare wearables.
Healthcare providers have demonstrated that RPM solutions are clinically effective as an early symptom management tool when used to support patients participating in disease management and/or care coordination program to automate the collection of patient vital signs and symptomatic data, and proactively identify if a patient’s condition is deteriorating or becoming life threatening. Common chronic conditions monitored include congestive heart failure, COPD, diabetes, asthma, and hypertension.
Return on Investment (ROI) & Deployment Challenges
Healthcare providers are struggling to develop a compelling return on investment to justify large-scale investments to expand existing chronic care management program(s) and leverage RPM technologies. Clinical trials have been limited in size and scope, payer reimbursement is dominated by fee-for-service contracts, and there is a limited understanding of the costs associated with managing chronically ill patients across the care continuum.
Majority of providers surveyed have limited budgets and resources to expand their care management program(s), RPM tools and data are not well integrated with existing clinical information systems and workflow, and they lack the clinical programs, personnel, processes and tools to take advantage of CMS’ new CPT codes that provide reimbursement for RPM equipment and monitoring services.
What The Report Findings Means for Healthcare Providers
“With the passage of the Affordable Care Act, hospitals and health systems are rapidly consolidating into larger integrated delivery networks and transitioning toward various at-risk payment and care delivery models, said Gregg Malkary, Managing Director of the Spyglass Consulting Group. “They are formulating strategies and deploying foundational technologies and processes required to support population health management programs focused on chronic disease management. RPM solutions have been identified as important early symptom management tool for managing large numbers of chronically ill patients.”