An Ounce of Prevention
More than 6 million adults in the United States have congestive heart failure (CHF), according to the most recent data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, with heart failure costing the nation more than $30 billion annually. Both figures are expected to rise in the coming years, fueled by the “silver tsunami” of aging baby boomers, unhealthy lifestyles taking their toll, and chronic medical conditions like obesity, high blood pressure, and diabetes raising the risk of developing CHF. Since CHF is so prevalent, it's more important than ever to find effective treatment solutions that won't break the bank for patients and that help provide better control over our national healthcare spending. Enter remote patient monitoring for congestive heart failure.
There are currently dozens of telehealth bills in Congress. As is the case with most pieces of federal legislation, a majority of these bills will go nowhere. However, some have the potential to become law and significantly reshape or at least affect the rules concerning the delivery and coverage of telehealth services.
The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) has issued its 2022 Medicare Physician Fee Schedule proposed rule. Within it are some potentially significant developments concerning remote therapeutic monitoring (RTM), which we will discuss below.
For practitioners, getting a patient to adhere to a realistic treatment plan is probably one of the toughest aspects of delivering healthcare. The old proverb "You can lead a horse to water, but you can't make it drink" speaks volumes to how patients often behave and interact with treatment plans designed to mitigate the effects of their chronic diseases.
Over just the past few years, the usage and application of telehealth services have begun to grow tremendously, fueled largely by the pandemic.
When COVID-19 hit, it hit hard — mentally, physically, and financially. The initial impact left by the virus was far reaching, wreaking havoc on the health and financial wellness of nearly every American. Among healthcare providers, one of the groups that took a big hit early on was primary care providers (PCPs). COVID-19 risk, fear, and uncertainty contributed to the lockdowns that directly impacted PCPs' bottom lines and productivity. They were forced to postpone what were deemed unnecessary patient visits, including the Medicare annual wellness visit (AWV), and scramble to piece together creative pathways for safe, socially distanced care that could also generate enough of a continuous stream of incoming revenue to keep practices afloat amid the pandemic's storm.
Prevounce Health, creators of the Prevounce Care Coordination Platform, announces a call for entries for its annual Preventive Health Scholarship Program.
A broad, bipartisan group of 50 senators recently reintroduced the CONNECT for Health Act for a fourth time, and there is an expectation that this massive telehealth bill could become law. The bill was first introduced in 2016 and is generally considered the most comprehensive telehealth legislation in Congress. The latest version is officially known as the Creating Opportunities Now for Necessary and Effective Care Technologies (CONNECT) for Health Act of 2021.
Even before COVID-19 quarantined us to our homes, the concept of telehealth was quietly gaining the traction and attention it rightfully deserves. Then the pandemic hit and suddenly it seemed like telehealth was everywhere. One form of telehealth that has emerged as a service valued by patients and doctors is remote patient monitoring, sometimes referred to as "RPM."
It's no secret that hypertension is one of the most widespread chronic diseases affecting Americans today. The average American diet and sedate lifestyle have begun to create confounding and devastating effects as Americans age into older adulthood. As more Americans are diagnosed with hypertension, it's important that we fully understand the true cost of this often-silent condition and constructively address ways to create a significant impact on mitigating this gateway chronic disease via solutions such as chronic care management (CCM) and remote patient monitoring (RPM).