Unleashing the true potential of digital medicine

Unleashing the true potential of digital medicine

Healthcare Tech Outlook | Friday, November 30, 2018

As technology evolves, so does the world around it. Today, doctors and physicians are presented a wide range of opportunities where technology assists in improving patient care and bring out the true potential of digital medicine. The additional codes acceded by the Current Procedural Terminology (CPT) editorial panel form the pipeline for chronic care remote physiologic monitoring and consultations via the internet and practice management software. Code 99091, developed in the 2002 but saw restricted usage due to lack of separate payment was opened up for extended usage with a pathway to pay physicians performing nonface-to-face patient care activities. For quite a while, the American Medical Association (AMA) has been fastidious in regard to telehealth and remote patient monitoring, proffering great promise in enhancing patient care and efficiency of care delivery. However, the medicine industry took a big step towards unleashing that potential when the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) abided by the advice of the AMA and the stakeholders of the medical industry to unbundle the CPT code 99091 for remote patient monitoring in the Medicare physician fee schedule. This step highlights the rising significance of remote patient monitoring in care delivery and interpretation of a patient’s physiological data, both today and in the future.

However, a comprehensive strategy is required to address the complexities and prevent doctors and physicians from being dissuaded by the adoption of technology into care delivery. Along with telehealth physicians and subject-matter experts in coding and valuation, AMA formed a group called the Digital Medicine Payment Advisory Group (DMPAG) to construct strategies for care delivery successfully. This group is founded on three remote physiological monitoring codes that enable doctors, physicians, and healthcare professionals incorporate the ability to report remote monitoring of conditions not covered by existing CPT. So how do these codes boost integration of technology in care delivery? The initial setup of monitoring equipment and patient data makes it easy for healthcare professionals to manage their patients effectively. The patient data transmitted and collected on the clinical database is accurately interpreted for an apt treatment plan with periodic reports or summaries on the patient. With the integration of technology, electronic reporting and medical record management between patients and physicians is no longer a theory. While CPT codes to report verbal and written reports currently exist, the researchers are looking forward to uncovering a new set of codes to make medical record management and remote patient monitoring an essential and reliable means to expand limits of medicine.

Weekly Brief