One of the many changes we’ve seen in wound care since the onset of the pandemic is a willingness among many providers to explore remote monitoring as a way to gather important information, as well as connect and engage with patients.
Most organizations, including CMS and the FDA, define remote monitoring as the use of non-invasive devices that measure or detect common physiological parameters and must wirelessly transmit patient information to their health care provider or a monitoring entity. Unlike telemedicine, remote patient monitoring services do not require interactive audio or video.1 Remote monitoring devices run the gamut from sophisticated apps on smartphones that feature 2D and 3D imaging, to temperature-sensing socks and fitness trackers.
Wound Care Technologies that Improve Outcomes and Manage Costs
While that’s a wide-ranging category, if the focus is kept on those technologies that improve outcomes and manage costs, it’s also one well worth further consideration. Here are some of the reasons why we at Net Health believe remote monitoring is here to stay.
- It’s often better for patients. Many patients prefer the option to receive care from the comfort of their homes. Plus, for patients who may have transportation problems, including the elderly or those in rural areas, it can ensure access to care.
- It’s often better for clinicians as remote monitoring can be easily integrated into the workflow and enables clinicians to focus more time on patients with serious conditions.
- Recent innovations in technology, especially advanced smartphone apps, are helping to make providers more comfortable with remote monitoring for certain patients.
- More patients and family members are becoming savvy at using apps, smartphones and other remote monitoring devices. While certainly not an option for every patient, it can work for many.
Increased Acceptance by CMS
While all the above are important reasons why remote monitoring is gaining steam, there are two others of considerable importance to wound care providers.
- The first and perhaps most important is that there have been changes in reimbursement and increased acceptance from CMS for such products.2 Before incorporating remote monitoring devices into a program, make sure to become familiar with the CPT codes that can be billed for potential reimbursement when monitoring using these covered devices.3
- EHRs have continued to evolve to be more friendly toward remote monitoring data. Some may require additional coding, while others can easily adapt. Make sure you consider the functionality of your existing EHR, as well as the support and service they can provide when considering how to incorporate remote monitoring data into your wound care program.
There’s still much to learn, and new policies and procedures to establish. However, as we’ve learned over the course of the pandemic, wound care remote monitoring is a valuable addition to our toolbox.
Learn more about Net Health’s EHR capabilities by watching this Net Health video or visiting our website here.
1Cole W. Can Remote Patient Monitoring Have an Impact for Patients with Diabetes? Podiatry Today. March 2021. Available at https://www.podiatrytoday.com/index.php/can-remote-patient-monitoring-have-impact-patients-diabetes
2Wicklund E. CMS Clarifies 2021PFS Reimbursement for Remote Patient Monitoring. MHealthIntelligence. Jan 20, 2021. Available at https://mhealthintelligence.com/news/cms-clarifies-2021-pfs-reimbursements-for-remote-patient-monitoring
3Aung B. Insights on Remote Monitoring for Diabetic Foot Ulcers. Today’s Wound Clinic. September 2020. Available at https://www.todayswoundclinic.com/articles/insights-remote-monitoring-diabetic-foot-ulcers