Is Your RPM Program Reaching its Full Potential?

Optimize Health | 21 December 2021
4 minute read

The clinical and financial benefits of Remote Patient Monitoring (RPM) have been well documented. Many physician practices, eager to improve patient engagement and outcomes while benefiting from increased reimbursement opportunities, have jumped into RPM. While some have seen great success, others struggle to achieve anticipated results. If your RPM program is underperforming, you can evaluate, re-strategize, and reboot your program. Optimize Health has helped hundreds of practices launch and re-launch RPM programs so we have deep knowledge on how to troubleshoot and course correct. 

Key Questions to Assess the Success of your RPM Program

The first question we would recommend asking yourself is – “Did I clearly set RPM goals and what are they?” To understand if your program is successful, you need to define success.

Examples of goals we recommend setting include:

  • Growth goal: Number of new patients per week as well as 3-, 6- and 12-month goals
  • Patient adherence goal: Percent of patients taking 16 days of readings per month
  • Patient engagement goal: Percent of patients hitting 20 minutes of care team member time PLUS a live, synchronous call each week
  • Clinical goals: Reduction in readmissions, improvement in blood pressure control, reduction in A1C, etc.

Why Isn’t My RPM Program Growing?

If your patient growth is sluggish, questions you can ask to find potential improvement opportunities include:

  • Are you proactively identifying and flagging patients at least one day prior to their appointment?
    • Would carving out time to look at all upcoming appointments weekly work better for your practice?
    • Is the right staff assigned to this task? And do they have enough time allocated for patient identification?
    • Are enough patients meeting your RPM criteria to meet the weekly goal?
    • Should you consider other conditions and devices to include more patients?
    • Is eligibility verification being used to include commercial patients?
  • After patients are identified, are your ordering providers writing orders before an RPM appointment?
    • How is the staff flagging potential RPM patients to providers?
    • Is there a better way to flag patients so that providers are consistently writing orders?
    • Is there a morning or weekly meeting where RPM-eligible patients can be discussed with providers?
  • After orders are written, are patients successfully completing an onboarding appointment?
    • How many patients are declining to join the RPM program?
    • Does all of your staff – admin and clinical – understand how to communicate the benefits of RPM in language patients will understand? Do they have a script to use?
    • Is the front desk and the clinical staff communicating with each other to ensure each RPM-eligible patient is completing an onboarding appointment?
    • Is there sufficient clinical staff time to complete the onboarding appointment?
    • Are there sufficient devices in stock to complete the onboarding appointments?

Answering these questions can help identify why your program may not be growing. We would encourage you to look at new patient numbers weekly, so that you can identify and resolve bottlenecks quickly. You should also have regular check-ins with the client success team from your RPM partner. They should have access to detailed data that can help pinpoint potential issues and solutions.

Success Metrics Beyond Patient Growth

If your program has strong growth, but is struggling in other areas, we have a number of resources that can help with improving patient adherence and engagement. The most common root cause for insufficient engagement is insufficient staffing. Getting patients to take daily readings generally requires daily interaction with your care team. Proactive monitoring requires a significant amount of dedicated clinical staff time. If RPM is everyone’s job, it quickly becomes no one’s job and both the clinical and financial benefits are diminished.

Working with your client success team on an ROI analysis to hire additional staff, or outsourcing monitoring are potential solutions to these types of patient engagement challenges. Managed RPM programs can enable you to scale your program to any level without resource constraints.

When implemented correctly, RPM has the ability to improve the health and quality of life for many of your patients. When not implemented well, RPM can easily stagnate or worse yet, be seen as an extra burden for your already busy staff.

Is it Time to Consider an RPM Reboot?

If your RPM program is not performing as expected, we can help. Contact us for a free, no obligation consultation. We love to talk all things RPM and are happy to dive into the specifics of what’s working and what could be improved at your practice.