As it’s implemented in more and more facilities, new evidence is accumulating that reveals just what kind of return on investment (ROI) hospitals are experiencing from implementing remote patient monitoring (RPM) to help manage patients with chronic conditions.
In a recent look at RPM return on investment, Xtelligent Media’s Eric Wicklund points to think tank-associated report suggesting that “healthcare providers will see an ‘operational ROI’ in RPM programs” — and that this ROI is likely to come “along with better clinical outcomes, improved patient engagement and more opportunities for cost savings and reimbursement.”
Though some providers have already achieved extraordinary cost savings with RPM technology — for instance, the UMMC’s Mississippi Diabetes Telehealth Network, which is based on Care Innovations® Health Harmony RPM platform — some hospitals have still been reluctant to embrace the technology.
Increasingly, then, providers are turning to RPM and related telehealth platforms “as a necessity rather than a luxury.” These are providers who may be “struggling with skyrocketing costs, increasing patient demand for better access to care and a population that’s aging and developing chronic conditions that require round-the-clock care,” as Wicklund notes.
Factors to Consider When Calculating Remote Patient Monitoring ROI
The report notes the contrast between traditional care’s “costly in-person visits” and the power of RPM to “passively and continuously collect and transmit patient-generated health data (PGHD) from in-home medical devices to providers and care teams” — data that can offer:
- Better insight into current lifestyle choices and past health history
- More actionable data around current symptoms and medications
- More accurate biometric info (e.g., heart rate, blood pressure and glucose levels, body temperature, oxygen levels, and weight)
“As all indicators suggest that remote monitoring will develop into a new standard of care in the near future, providers are likely considering the most effective way to deploy such programs to improve the patient experience and outcomes while cutting costs,” the report continues, noting that some other factors driving RPM ROI include its capacity to:
- Reduce stress for healthcare providers (a serious issue considering the reports of rampant burnout)
- Improve patient-to-physician ratios
- Provide more insightful data around population health
- Improve workloads “that allow clinicians to spend more time with patients who need their attention”
To calculate ROI, healthcare providers should also “look at readmission rate and bed occupancy considerations,” writes Healthcare Business Insights’ Brittni Straseske in another look at how to calculate the ROI from RPM technology.
“Remote monitoring for a patient with, for example, congestive heart failure can help keep them from being readmitted after care,” she adds. “This not only prevents the hospital from having to absorb the readmission costs, but also frees up bed space for a high-revenue case, like a joint replacement surgery.”
Remote Patient Monitoring Poised to Become ‘Standard of Care’
Of course, each facility’s specific return on investment from implementing RPM will vary, depending upon its unique operational needs. "Each type of client has a slightly different way of measuring their business goals,” as Consumer Experience Expert Karissa Price-Rico, PhD explained in a discussion of how to calculate the return on investment from RPM implementation.
“What we do at Care Innovations, is to really work up-front with our clients to understand what their business goals are, to ensure we're collecting the data in the right way to be able to measure that ROI over time and create successful programs for them,” she added.
Partners Connected Health’s Dr. Kamal Jethwani agrees on the need for up-front ROI calculations during program design. “I think the basic rule of thumb is that the return from some of these programs far outweigh the cost in most circumstances,” he told Straseske. “I always advise organizations start off with the return equation and then get the cost.”
Either way, as Wicklund concludes in his article on RPM’s improving ROI scenario: “Remote patient monitoring will soon become a standard of care, as health systems use telehealth and mHealth to better manage a growing chronic care population and reduce costs.”
What kind of ROI can you expect from remote patient monitoring (RPM)? Contact Care Innovations to schedule your complimentary consultation with one of our remote care experts.