Leveraging technology to advance remote patient monitoring (RPM) has the potential to unlock efficiencies for clinicians in the areas of patient outreach, identification of at-risk patients, an improvement in care initiatives. A recent article featured in MedCity News not only highlighted these potential benefits but also detailed CMS’ current and suggested future efforts to support RPM.
The article advocates for the removal of the existing barriers actively preventing the widespread adoption of digital technologies as a means to better care. Medicare reimbursement for telehealth and remote patient monitoring technologies totaled just $28.75 million in 2016, less than 3 percent of CMS’ annual budget. Despite the statistics, CMS has taken an important first step in recognizing the value of RPM technologies.
In November, CMS announced that it will support and reimburse providers using remote monitoring technologies in 2018. In furtherance of these efforts, CMS will unbundle and activate CPT code 99091 (collection and interpretation of physiologic data) from the traditional chronic care management programs. This will allow provider reimbursement for time spent collecting and analyzing health data that is generated by patients, digitally stored, and transmitted to the providers. Further, CMS should recognize the equipment, facilities, non-physician medical staff, and technologies that are required to drive these innovations to scale and provide robust reimbursement for these services.
Given the trends in the healthcare market, and CMS’ reaction to those market forces, healthcare organizations should start adopting RPM technologies to benefit from these regulatory incentives. Such incentives will continue to grow as healthcare providers further embrace digital solutions and CMS recognizes the benefits of those technologies to patient populations, particularly in underserved or remote areas.
Rx.Health is excited to serve as an ecosystem partner at NODE Health’s inaugural Digital Medicine Conference at the Microsoft Technology Center in Times Square beginning on Dec. 4. The company will join its academic partners including the APPLab at Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai to support the first ever multi-stakeholder meeting on the scientific evidence for digital innovation. Other leading names in healthcare innovation, such as UCSF, Stanford, Northwell, LifeBridge Health and Yale New Haven Health, will also be in attendance for the event.
During the conference, Rx.Health’s team will be providing a demonstration to attendees of the RxUniverse platform. The demonstration will highlight the platform’s seamless digital solution as attendee’s, including industry executives, will be prescribed a survey dedicated to gather relevant information regarding how the platform can drive innovation and Digital Medicine transformation in any health system.
“As a company that is singularly focused on evidence-based Digital Medicine, we’ve been looking forward to this conference for quite some time,” said Ed Berde, the CEO of Rx.Health. “Anytime my team can get in a room to talk with other innovators in the field, let alone the top health systems promoting clinically proven innovation, we’re eager to discuss what’s worked and what hasn’t, and how those successes and failures are formulating experts’ vision of the future of Digital Medicine.”
Rx.Health will also be presenting the successful results of three distinct studies with academic partners that adopted RxUniverse as a focal point in each study. The first study presented will be the RxUniverse pilot study program, which was recently profiled at the American Medical Informatics Association’s 2017 Annual Symposium. As previously reported, RxUniverse ranked in the 96th percentile on Usability.gov’s System Usability Scale among all technology products. At the conclusion of the study clinicians exceeded digital prescription expectancies by more than 200 percent.
The second study focused on patients who employed Digital Medicine solutions through the RxUniverse platform to manage Chronic Heart Failure. The study, which was conducted at Mont Sinai, found that patients monitoring their condition through a clinically proven app were significantly less likely to be readmitted to the hospital within the first 30 days after a procedure. Among participants, the readmission rate during the study was just 10 percent, compared to Mount Sinai’s average of 22.8 percent and the national average of 25 percent.
The Rx.Health team will present a final study involving patients suffering from inflammatory bowel disease. During the study, these patients were prescribed with HealthPROMISE, a unique, cloud-based patient reported outcome and decision support tool. Patients were asked to use HealthPROMISE to report on their quality of life measures during a two-year trial sponsored by the National Institutes of Health. 320 patients with IBD were prescribed with app-based digital technologies to aid in their care. At the conclusion of the study, which was featured in MobiHealth News, patients prescribed with HealthPROMISE were found to have reported a significantly higher quality of life.
NODE Health Foundation is the society of Digital Medicine. At the heart of the foundation, is a consortium comprised of over 20 health systems and over 7,000 Digital Medicine enthusiasts, all sharing the singular goal of evaluating the cross-section of evidence based medicine with emerging healthcare technologies in an effort to promote the proliferation and efficacy of evidence-based Digital Medicine.
On Nov. 13, MobiHealth News reported on the results of a two-year clinical trial for HealthPROMISE. HealthPROMISE, an app-based platform developed at Mount Sinai, is designed to improve the quality of care for patients who are struggling with inflammatory bowel disease (IBD). The MobiHealth News publication was based on clinical data recently presented at the Advances in Inflammatory Bowel Diseases Conference.
HealthPROMISE is a unique, cloud-based patient reported outcome (PRO) and decision support tool that empowers patients and providers: patients track their quality of life and symptoms, while providers can use the visual data in real time through EHR integration to provide better care to the entire patient population. During the trial, researchers focused on changes in the quality of care metrics between the groups, while observing shifts in quality of life scores, discovering the proportion of patients who reported controlled disease status in each group and documenting any decreases in IBD related emergency visits and hospitalizations.
According to Dr. Ashish Atreja, HealthPROMISE improved patient health outcomes and long-term engagement by implementing tools that allow care teams to monitor symptoms and more conveniently communicate with their patients. The platform assists with the collection of symptom and adherence data, which can then be reviewed while designing care strategies. Patients using HealthPROMISE are able to update their medical information while receiving a summary of quality care metrics and quality of life trends specific to IBD.
“Patients were coming to see us once or twice a year, but a lot of times we were finding patients falling through the cracks [and] there were symptoms they had for many months before they came back to us,” Atreja said to MobiHealth News. “Three or four hours of physician-time a year is not relevant for many of the patients. We need to have a way to proactively assess how they’re doing every single week or every single month.”
HealthPROMISE was tested during a two-year trial sponsored by the National Institutes of Health. During the trial, 320 patients with IBD were prescribed with app-based digital technologies to aid in their care. The patients were randomly placed into two groups: one group of 158 patients was assigned a basic medical education app, while a second group of 162 patients was provided with HealthPROMISE.
After 575 days, it was found that the 320 patients had significant improvement in IBD specific quality of life measures. However, patients prescribed with HealthPROMISE were found to have reported a significantly higher quality of life. Uncontrolled anxiety and fatigue were the primary factors when participants reported poor quality of life. Furthermore, app usage data showed that about 75 percent of HealthPROMISE users continued to log in and update PROs throughout the duration of the study.
According to Dr. Atreja, patients who used HealthPROMISE felt they had an ongoing relationship with their physician, even outside of the clinical setting. Dr. Atreja said that continued contact between patients and their care teams was a factor for continued engagement with HealthPROMISE, resulting in patients using the platform regularly.
Rx.Health’s RxUniverse was selected as one of the top 15 app-based medical solutions worldwide in advance of the 2017 MEDICA App Competition, which is recognized as the world’s leading trade fair for the medical industry. In order to be considered, apps must be novel, solve a large and unmet need, be scalable internationally, and pass the scrutiny of the conference’s jury panel. This year’s panel was comprised of nearly a dozen leading healthcare leaders and innovators from around the globe.
On Nov. 15, Rx.Health CEO Ed Berde will travel to Dusseldorf, Germany to present at the conference and meet with leaders from health systems, payers and the pharmaceutical industry interested in promoting innovation through RxUniverse’s unique platform approach, which can integrate multiple solutions under one workflow.
“This is further validation for RxUniverse and how it can harness the power of tremendous innovation happening worldwide and transform care by integrating and delivering those solutions to the hands of patients at right time to deliver the right outcomes,” Berde said “Our selection at MEDICA speaks to a global appeal for this platform and we will be looking to further expand on our meaningful partnerships with key international players.”
Click here for the full press release.
Rx.Health is proud to support the 2017 Annual American Informatics Association Conference in Washington, D.C. During the conference, which is held from Nov. 4 through Nov. 8, Dr. Ashish Atreja will be presenting the results of the RxUniverse pilot study that was conducted at the Mount Sinai Health System.
“AMIA assembles the perfect audience to present the pilot study of RxUniverse, so this presentation should be incredibly exciting,” Dr. Atreja said. “Attendees understand that informatics are a crucial and necessary component of advancing healthcare to a patient-centric methodology. Digital Medicine is at the forefront of this progression, and we now have the statistics and evidence to support that statement.”
RxUniverse’s six-week pilot study was conducted with the goal of prescribing 100 mobile health apps to patients. Exceeding test result expectancies by more than 200 percent, the pilot study involved 40 clinicians and health care providers at five clinical sites at Mount Sinai. Clinicians prescribed over 2,000 mobile health apps during the trial period, and RxUniverse received an 84.2 score on the System Usability Scale. SUS is used to evaluate technology products and compare them to industry standards of usability and learnability.
This SUS score places RxUniverse in the top 96 percentile of technology products. The statistics resulting from the RxUniverse pilot study provides further evidence that a platform approach to engaging patients using Digital Medicine is a valuable tool in bridging the gap between innovation in health care and patient engagement.
AMIA actively supports research and practice in healthcare informatics and offers a platform for professionals, students and patients to come together and discuss the future of informatics in healthcare. Over the last 35 years, informatics have grown exponentially to improve health, and are key to accelerating the current goals of healthcare reform.
To learn more, view the press release here.
Digital Medicine has significant potential to enable transformation in value-based care. However, health systems have struggled to adopt the technology necessary to integrate Digital Medicine solutions into their clinical workflow while complying with FDA guidelines and regulations.
On Thursday, Nov. 2, Rx. Health Cofounder Dr. Ashish Atreja, who is also the Chief Innovation and Engagement Officer of Medicine at the Mount Sinai Health System, will present on the opportunity that Digital Medicine is bringing to health care providers at the CHIME CIO Forum in San Antonio. Dr. Atreja’s presentation will touch on the substantial impact Digital Medicine could have on health systems by creating better care for patients that in turn promotes value-based care transformation in treatment.
“For me, what’s so exciting about CHIME is that CIOs have a forum for discussions around effectively implementing digital technologies in their health systems, which is an area that I’ve been involved in for more than a decade” Dr. Atreja said. “Recent studies have shown that an effective way to implement these solutions is through a platform-based system, which will be increasingly recognized as a necessary tool in any sophisticated practice.”
Dr. Atreja’s presentation will identify challenges faced in adopting Digital Medicine, such as FDA guidance and related regulations for mhealth apps, telemedicine and other digital health technologies. The discussion will focus on how a platform-based approach can simplify clinical workflow and help onboard Digital Medicine across all specialties within a health system.
Dr. Atreja will share how work done at Mount Sinai can be readily applied to other health systems. Yale New Haven Health has become first health system in Connecticut to use a similar approach to digital medicine prescribing to fulfill their value-based healthcare needs. The discussion will also delve into other topics that are crucial to the nation’s leading health systems’ CIOs, such as MACRA compliance and population health management for underserved communities.
The 2017 CHIME Fall CIO Forum provides an opportunity for thought leaders and industry luminaries to discuss any and everything about healthcare IT. Featured discussions in this year’s program encompass a wide variety of topics, including a deeper focus on patient identification, cybersecurity, data analytics, clinical workflow, public policy and cutting-edge innovation that’s transforming health care.
For more information on the event, see CHIME’s website for a full listing of presenters and topics. For those in attendance, be sure to catch Dr. Atreja’s presentation on Nov. 2.