Blog Post

4 Things You're Missing Out on by Not Leveraging Remote Therapeutic Monitoring

Clinicians using remote therapeutic monitoring with patients are getting ahead of the technological curve—and providing better care.

Mike Willee
5 min read
August 30, 2022
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Over the past few months, we’ve been shouting from the hilltops about remote therapeutic monitoring (RTM) and its importance for rehab therapy in a number of blog posts.  But you don’t have to take our word for it: the recently released 2023 proposed rule leaves RTM largely intact for PTs, OTs, and SLPs, with some minor changes to coding and billing practices. So, despite some hesitations from CMS when RTM was initially rolled out in the 2022 final rule, it seems they recognize its tremendous value to rehab therapists in 2023 and beyond. The question is, are enough therapists recognizing that value as well?

If you’re not one of the growing number of clinics adding RTM to their clinical offerings, you’re missing out on a number of benefits for your patients and your bottom line. Here are just a few of the ways that RTM promises to support rehab therapy’s mission of improving the quality of your patients’ lives.

1. RTM can provide more complete patient data. 

One consistent challenge in patient care is the limits on information that can be gathered about a patient’s condition. Rehab therapists feel that limit acutely, with their patient data often limited to what’s collected during brief in-person sessions.  

RTM, however, expands a caregiver’s reach beyond the office. By using an FDA-approved medical device, therapists can collect better and more accurate information about their patients’ treatment progress, and then bill for that time using the corresponding RTM CPT codes. This provides greater insight into treatment responses, helping clinicians craft better plans of care and make more informed (and effective) adjustments to treatment plans and at-home exercises. That information also demonstrates improved patient outcomes—critical in proving efficacy in value-based care models.      

2. RTM fosters better patient engagement.

Every clinician knows that most patients don’t fully adhere to their plans of care, and as such don’t achieve their recovery goals in full. It’s not hard to figure out why: as WebPT and Clinicient’s PT Patient Experience Report showed, patients that quit PT before completing their plan of care most often stated that the prescribed exercises were too hard, both in the clinic and at home.  Patients may struggle to keep up with challenging home exercise programs without the supervision and encouragement of a provider. With RTM, therapists can monitor progress within exercise programs to better engage with patients—and give them a much-needed boost or comforting word to remind them of the progress they’ve made thus far, and what they stand to gain by sticking with it.   

Using RTM can help bridge the distance between in-clinic and at-home care, further reinforcing the idea that it’s all part of the same treatment plan and therefore all vital to a patient’s recovery.     

Higher engagement leads to better outcomes. 

As we’ve highlighted previously, increased patient engagement leads to improved outcomes, for a few key reasons. Engaged patients:   

  • Are proactive about their treatment;
  • Invest in their treatment and recovery;
  • Recognize the value of treatment in their overall health;
  • Understand that actions outside the clinic impact their treatment and outcomes; and
  • Put in more time and effort to research treatment options and providers.

By walking patients through how they can access their exercises and other instructional material on your RTM app of choice, you’re helping patients engage in their own recovery and encouraging the self-efficacy that is crucial to achieving their therapy goals. And with an app that offers chat functionality, patients and providers can communicate on issues, questions, and concerns that might otherwise derail them on the path to recovery. 

3. Providers can increase clinic revenue by implementing RTM.

Readers of the 2023 proposed rule (or our helpful breakdown) know that reimbursement cuts are once again on the docket for providers, meaning that rehab therapists need to look at every available option for making up (potentially) lost revenue. As it so happens, RTM is a great alternative revenue stream that also furthers your work and helps patients achieve improved outcomes. 

In a recent blog post, we laid out how a therapist using the RTM CPT codes with a single patient could stand to bill for up to $160 per patient, as opposed to the average of $90 without RTM. When you consider all the Medicare patients at your clinic that could benefit from RTM, that’s a significant new source of revenue—especially in today’s economical market. 

For those concerned about the potential headache of trying to manage RTM across multiple patients and several providers, an RTM dashboard (like the one offered by Keet Health) makes it easy to track each patient’s progress and the respective CPT codes in use, making it simple to eventually bill for the services you’re providing. 

4. Digital health is the future of rehab therapy—and RTM is a big part of that. 

Some therapists may be reluctant to get on board with RTM (or any digital health tools, for that matter) for fear of rendering their in-person services obsolete. But technology can’t replace what humans bring to treating patients, and there will always be a need for the expertise and insight only skilled therapists can provide. That doesn't mean your services can’t be paired with technology to streamline care.   

And make no mistake: CMS views technology and the expansion of reimbursement for digital health services as central to the value-based care future of health care. RTM not only allows providers to interact with more patients than they would otherwise, but it is also a means of collecting the irrefutable outcomes data that demonstrates our profession’s value—two cornerstones of value-based care.  

Recent years haven’t offered much for rehab therapists to get excited about, but the addition of billable RTM services is the rare opportunity for clinicians to help themselves and their patients— if they’re willing to take advantage of it.


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