Blog Post

5 Practical Ways to Make Remote Therapeutic Monitoring Work in the Clinic

Introducing RTM into rehab therapy offers clinicians opportunities to engage with patients while improving their efficiency—and revenue.

Mike Willee
5 min read
August 12, 2022
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More than just a temporary pandemic measure, remote therapeutic monitoring (RTM) is a great addition to your rehab clinic’s permanent offerings; it helps improve patient outcomes while unlocking an additional revenue stream with your Medicare patients. But how can rehab therapists best implement monitoring services in patient care without disrupting operational workflows? I’m glad you asked! Here are a few helpful use cases to illustrate how your clinical staff can leverage RTM in their work with patients to collect better patient data, improve care, and increase revenue. 

1. RTM can help fill the gaps of patient cancellations. 

Patient no-shows and canceled or rescheduled appointments are an inescapable part of running a clinic, and a frustrating development for clinicians looking to fill their day with productive, billable work. Fortunately, you can leverage RTM to fill that time and avoid having to eat the cost of any scheduling disruptions.


Say you have a patient cancel their appointment, leaving you with a free hour before your next appointment. Rather than whiling away the time, use it to check in on your RTM patients and see how they’re progressing with their prescribed home exercises or what they’re self-reporting for pain levels. If you’re using an app that allows you to chat with patients, you can catch up on any questions patients might have, or record any notes of your own.  

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2. Automate your care pathways with RTM.      

Anything you can do to automate workflows in your clinic can only help ease the burden on both therapists and front office staff. And with the right RTM software, you can seamlessly set up workflows that send plans of care and at-home exercises to patients directly after their first visit. These automations are essential to getting Medicare patients into the RTM funnel without having to lift a finger, making RTM management a breeze. 


For instance, say your organization treats a lot of total knee patients. Within your RTM software, you can create a templated plan of care for this specific demographic that kicks off after the conclusion of their initial visit. In this plan of care, you can also include: 

  • exercises specific to total knee rehabilitation;
  • educational materials that help patient learn more about their injury, and thus help them better understand just how important your services—and their cooperation—are; and
  • questionnaires that enable you to track patient progress and evaluate their outcomes measures; as patients advance beyond their initial plan of care, an RTM software can trigger a workflow for a new, updated plan of care to keep treatment moving forward.  

3. Set aside time specifically for RTM.

By devoting part of their schedule to RTM, therapists can better manage the need for a healthy work-life balance with the demands of meeting patient load requirements; in fact, if implemented correctly, it could double your reimbursements and your number of patients seen in a day while reducing daily in-person visits.


Rather than filling your schedule with in-person treatment, you could devote two hours of your day to checking on RTM patients, at a cadence of roughly four per hour. Instead of seeing 10 patients a day in-person, you’re cutting that number to eight—all while doubling the number of patients you have meaningful interactions in a given day.

4. Use RTM to reach remote or immobile patients.  

Time and distance are significant barriers to access for many potential therapy patients. Some patients have difficulty making it into clinics during regular hours due to their own work schedules, while others struggle with the travel demands, whether that’s due to living in a remote area, a lack of reliable transportation to and from appointments, or health conditions that make leaving home a challenge. Leveraging RTM to extend care beyond the walls of your organization is a great way to get patients the help they need regardless of logistical roadblocks. 


In this scenario, let’s pretend your clinic is located in a rural Alaskan town. For some patients, getting into your clinic requires travel by boat or even by plane (just ask Summit Physical Therapy). To reduce the required in-person visits for these patients, engage with them through RTM. This hybridized approach can ensure they’re still getting quality care and progressing through their recovery, no matter the circumstances. 

5. Focus your physical therapy assistants (PTAs) on RTM education and monitoring.  

The work of RTM doesn’t have to fall only on therapists; PTAs and OTAs can be an invaluable resource in your effort to implement RTM and educate patients on its use and benefits.  


If your organization employs PTAs or OTAs, you have the option of making RTM their primary daily or weekly focus. This is an especially helpful use case for clinics that want to continue to devote therapist attention to in-patient care. After all, PTAs are certainly capable of running reports to show high and low patient activity to take appropriate action, although clinics should be aware of the billing implications of using PTAs in RTM monitoring.

As health care continues to make strides down the path of value-based care, it’s important for clinicians to recognize the importance of digital health solutions in cost-effective treatment. And with CMS making the important step of rolling out RTM codes to support extended care (and planning to make additional modifications to simplify billing for them), it’s clear they understand RTM’s importance in that equation.  


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