When CMS initially launched Chronic Care Management (CCM) followed by Remote Patient Monitoring (RPM), it was clear that Primary Care Providers (PCPs) would be early adopters of these programs. It made sense since PCPs are typically the quarterback of a patient’s care. However, increasingly, many specialists are realizing these programs are great fits for their patient population, as well.
So, why is this? Every situation is different, of course, but there are some common threads. Let’s consider a few.
Steady monitoring of patients with chronic conditions
Specialists such as cardiologists and pulmonologists typically care for older patients with a history of substantial health issues, like heart disease and emphysema. These conditions require constant interaction with patients to prevent exacerbation.
A remote care program like RPM is perfect for this situation, as it requires a minimum of 16 days of vitals readings every 30 days per patient, along with monthly phone contact by a Care Coordinator to gauge overall wellness. This remote interaction also removes the necessity of the patient visiting the practice in person to gather this information. This lowers stress on the patient, while freeing the provider’s staff to focus on more time– sensitive, in– office responsibilities.
Both CCM and RPM are especially useful after a patient’s discharge from a procedure such as heart surgery, when the body navigates many stages of recuperation. This is also when a patient’s overall wellness can change greatly from one day to the next.
Reduced hospitalizations for acute conditions
Remote care has consistently proven itself to be a reliable form of preventative care, leading to fewer readmissions. This is true in the case of more common chronic diseases such as diabetes and hypertension but is especially meaningful for conditions that require more time– sensitive, highly specialized attention.
For instance, the Cardiovascular Institute of The South reported that implementing a virtual care program caused a 65 percent reduction in cases of hospitalization for atrial arrythmia. In addition to improving quality of life, this has saved millions of dollars in cost and helped an overburdened clinical staff address other needs.
Similarly, a report from the International Journal of Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease concluded that steady monitoring of 126 chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) patients led to a 63 percent decrease in their cardiopulmonary hospitalizations and a 44 percent decline in ED visits. And not a single extra patient trip to the facility was necessary.
Improved emotional wellness for patients
There are other less-quantifiable benefits for specialists as well. Older patients often have trouble dealing with the realization that they have developed complex and potentially life-threatening health complications. This can lead to depression as well as a loss of engagement with the specialist practice and its ongoing plan of care.
The consistent nature of CCM and RPM helps address this concern by maintaining regular lines of communication with the patient, conveying empathy as well as confidence in adhering to a personalized treatment plan to improve their overall health.
Our Care Coordinators attest to the power of human interaction with their patients, some of whom are recovering from extensive surgeries or painful physical therapy. Knowing they can count on a familiar voice can make a real difference in such times of adversity.
It’s those very Care Coordinators who help HealthXL® stand apart in the remote care industry, for specialists and PCPs alike. We recently heard from a heart specialist client, for instance, who said their patients were very happy with the level of personal service and professionalism provided by our clinicians. We also hear directly from patients who come to appreciate, and even look forward to, the monthly interactions with our empathetic staff. This leads to higher rates of patient retention in our programs, and significantly improved outcomes.
How we make it work
There’s no substitute for experience in virtual care, and HealthXL® has been at it since 2015. Learn more about our unique approach, from enrollment to compliance, while keeping patients engaged and encouraged. No matter your specialty, you’ll see what a partnership with us can mean for your patients and overall practiceatients.
Get in touch with us to discuss how remote care can benefit your practice today.