RTM: Remote Therapeutic Monitoring Explained
Remote Therapeutic Monitoring (RTM) is a healthcare service that utilizes technology to monitor patients’ health conditions and provide medical care remotely. This type of monitoring enables healthcare providers to track patients’ vital signs, symptoms, and adherence to prescribed therapies, among other health-related factors, from a distance. Remote therapeutic monitoring is typically achieved through the use of various monitoring devices, such as blood glucose meters, pulse oximeters, or wearable fitness trackers, and communication tools such as video conferencing, phone calls, or secure messaging.
Health apps for physical therapy have been approved as medical devices to transmit non-physiological data between patients and healthcare providers, which highlights opportunities in mHealth.
This approach to healthcare can be particularly beneficial for patients who live in remote areas or have limited mobility, as it can improve access to medical care and reduce the need for in-person visits. However, the increasing trend of Remote Therapeutic Monitoring has seen a bigger rise by city-dwellers who prefer the convenience of remote therapy rather than in-person. RTM can help healthcare providers detect health-issues early, improve patient outcomes, and reduce healthcare costs over time.
CPT Codes for Remote Therapeutic Monitoring
In 2022, new CPT codes were introduced that allow physiotherapists to be reimbursed for setting up Remote Therapeutic Monitoring (RTM) for their patients to adhere to their recovery plans. This means that physiotherapists can now bill for time spent educating and training patients on how to use health apps and other RTM technologies to manage their recovery from a distance.
The new codes recognize the important role that RTM can play in the rehabilitation process and provide a means for physiotherapists to be compensated for their time and expertise. By leveraging RTM technologies, physiotherapists can remotely monitor patients’ progress, track their adherence to prescribed therapy, and make adjustments to their treatment plan as needed. This can lead to better patient outcomes, increased patient engagement, and improved overall healthcare efficiency.
With the increased availability and adoption of health apps and other RTM technologies, physiotherapists can now provide more personalized and proactive care to their patients, regardless of their location. By embracing these new CPT codes and incorporating RTM into their practices, physiotherapists can maximize revenue opportunities while providing high-quality care to their patients.
The five new CPT Codes are 98975, 98976, 98977, 98980 and 98981, which are explained here:
CPT Code 98975
CPT Code 98975 covers the initial set-up and patient education related to the use of equipment for monitoring the status of the respiratory and musculoskeletal systems, as well as therapy adherence and response. Reimbursement for code 98975 is $20
CPT Code 98976
This code is specifically used to monitor the respiratory system and is typically billed on a 30-day basis.
CPT Code 98977
Monitoring Musculoskeletal System – $55 per person per 30 days, Medicare allows patients to self-report using the exercise software (software as a medical device)
CPT Code 98980
CPT Code 98980 covers at least one interactive communication with the patient or caregiver during a calendar month, for a duration of up to 20 minutes. $50 per person, full 20 min consult per 30 day period.
CPT Code 98981
CPT Code 98981 is an additional billing code used to cover the time spent by a physician or other qualified healthcare professional in the management of remote therapeutic monitoring treatment. This code covers each additional 20 minutes of interactive communication with the patient or caregiver during a calendar month beyond the initial 20 minutes covered by CPT Code 98980. This code recognizes that some patients may require additional time and attention from their healthcare provider in the context of remote therapeutic monitoring. $40 per person each additional full 20 mins consulting about the data.
To ensure proper billing for services provided under CPT Codes for Remote Therapeutic Monitoring, healthcare professionals must accurately document the time and resources expended on initial set-up and patient education, and log the details of their adherence in 16 of 30 days. Healthcare providers take into consideration the ease of use of completing the reimbursement application of the individual apps, which all must follow HIPAA regulations.
Health Apps for Remote Therapeutic Monitoring
Here are some examples of apps that are used for Remote Therapeutic Monitoring:
MedBridge is an all-in-one app used by physical therapists that offers a bank of hundreds of rehabilitation exercises that they can prescribe to their patients. Patients log into the app and log the rehab exercises they have completed.
Limber Health app is a platform that is fully compliant with HIPAA regulations and has been designed to alleviate musculoskeletal (MSK) pain in patients through the use of customized exercises. The platform takes into account the severity of the patient’s condition and tailors the exercises accordingly to ensure maximum efficacy.
RecoveryOne is a digital health company that provides personalized, evidence-based physical therapy programs to help patients recover from musculoskeletal injuries and conditions. The platform offers a suite of at-home exercises as well as features to monitor mental health.
Kaia Health is a digital therapeutics company that offers an AI-powered app to help patients manage and treat chronic musculoskeletal conditions through a combination of physical therapy exercises, educational content, and mindfulness techniques. The app uses AI Human Pose Estimation technology to give real-time feedback to patients as they perform their prescribed exercises at home.