How Remote Therapeutic Monitoring Can Help You Scale Your Physiotherapy Practice

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Remote Therapeutic Monitoring (RTM) and Remote Monitoring as a whole is not just the future of healthcare, it is the now. Digital solutions in healthcare are quickly becoming the norm. While their normalization may have stemmed from the COVID crisis, they are here to stay.

All healthcare professionals from physical therapists and occupational therapists to family physicians must now use remote monitoring if they want to be relevant in today’s healthcare service. RTM can also help you provide better patient outcomes while scaling your business by incorporating digital technologies to enhance your human services.

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What is Remote Therapeutic Monitoring?

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Remote therapeutic monitoring treatment refers to the use of a medical device to monitor patient progress and collect non-physiological data in between medical visits. This remote monitoring can help PTs create better treatment plans through the use of client-specific data.

RTM is often used for remote monitoring of the respiratory system and musculoskeletal systems. Virtual monitoring includes the monitoring of treatment progression, adherence to treatment, and the collection of non-physiological data in between medical visits.

Non-physiological data can refer to subjective data like your patient’s self-reports on pain or whether or not they are sticking to their exercise schedule. This type of data is considered subjective and was previously difficult for healthcare professionals to bill for. That all changed in 2022 with the introduction of remote therapeutic monitoring RTM codes.

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What Are Remote Therapeutic Monitoring Codes?

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Remote therapeutic monitoring codes allow therapists like physical therapists and occupational therapists to bill for their remote monitoring work. The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) introduced remote therapeutic monitoring codes in January 2022. With the introduction of the CPT codes, CMS also provided more information about what falls under those codes.

According to CMS, RTM is the providing of remote care by eligible qualified healthcare professionals like physical therapists and occupational therapists. That care can pertain to the respiratory and musculoskeletal systems, therapy adherence, and therapy response. There are a number of CPT codes that fall under RTM, with each code pertaining to different levels of monitoring of patient data, reporting, and treatments.

[/et_pb_text][/et_pb_column][/et_pb_row][/et_pb_section][et_pb_section fb_built=”1″ module_class=”guide-banner banner-half” _builder_version=”4.21.0″ _module_preset=”default” background_image=”https://physiotec.ca/ca/wp-content/uploads/sites/2/2023/10/Group-1818@2x.png” background_position=”center_left” custom_margin=”55px||60px||false|false” custom_padding=”20px||20px||false|false” background_last_edited=”on|tablet” background_image_tablet=”https://physiotec.ca/ca/wp-content/uploads/sites/4/2023/09/Banner-Mobile-–-2.png” background_image_phone=”https://physiotec.ca/ca/wp-content/uploads/sites/4/2023/09/Banner-Mobile-–-2.png” background_enable_image_tablet=”on” background_enable_image_phone=”on” global_colors_info=”{}”][et_pb_row column_structure=”1_2,1_2″ make_equal=”on” _builder_version=”4.21.0″ _module_preset=”default” global_colors_info=”{}”][et_pb_column type=”1_2″ _builder_version=”4.21.0″ _module_preset=”default” global_colors_info=”{}”][et_pb_text _builder_version=”4.21.0″ _module_preset=”default” background_layout=”dark” global_colors_info=”{}”]

Get started with RTM today!

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CPT Code 98975

[/et_pb_text][/et_pb_column][et_pb_column type=”3_4″ _builder_version=”4.21.0″ _module_preset=”default” global_colors_info=”{}”][et_pb_text admin_label=”Text” _builder_version=”4.21.0″ _module_preset=”default” global_colors_info=”{}”]According to a November 2021 publication by the Department of Health & Human Services (DHHS), CPT code 98975 is defined as follows: “Remote Therapeutic Monitoring (e.g., respiratory system status, musculoskeletal system status, therapy adherence, therapy response); initial set-up and patient education on the use of equipment.”

You can use this code when you first set your patient up for remote therapeutic monitoring. That includes when you’re educating them about the device they’ll be using and setting the device up for them. Since you should only be doing the first setup once, you can only charge for it once. Of course, if you start a new treatment and need to do a new set-up and education session then you can bill again for a new round of treatment.[/et_pb_text][/et_pb_column][/et_pb_row][et_pb_row column_structure=”1_4,3_4″ module_class=”greybg-box” _builder_version=”4.21.0″ _module_preset=”default” background_color=”#f7f7f7″ width=”100%” max_width=”2560px” custom_margin=”60px||||false|false” custom_padding=”40px|57px|25px|57px|false|false” global_colors_info=”{}”][et_pb_column type=”1_4″ _builder_version=”4.21.0″ _module_preset=”default” global_colors_info=”{}”][et_pb_text admin_label=”Text” _builder_version=”4.21.0″ _module_preset=”default” global_colors_info=”{}”]

CPT code 98976

[/et_pb_text][/et_pb_column][et_pb_column type=”3_4″ _builder_version=”4.21.0″ _module_preset=”default” global_colors_info=”{}”][et_pb_text admin_label=”Text” _builder_version=”4.21.0″ _module_preset=”default” global_colors_info=”{}”]According to DHHS, CPT code 98976 is defined as follows: “Remote therapeutic monitoring (e.g., respiratory system status, musculoskeletal system status, therapy adherence, therapy response); device(s) supply with scheduled (e.g., daily) recording(s) and/or programmed alert(s) transmission to monitor respiratory system, each 30 days.”

This particular CPT code is specifically for the monitoring of the respiratory system over 30 days with scheduled recordings and alerts. So you’re reporting using this cpt code would include the device and the monitoring. You can bill this once for each month of treatment.[/et_pb_text][/et_pb_column][/et_pb_row][et_pb_row column_structure=”1_4,3_4″ module_class=”greybg-box” _builder_version=”4.21.0″ _module_preset=”default” background_color=”#f7f7f7″ width=”100%” max_width=”2560px” custom_margin=”60px||||false|false” custom_padding=”40px|57px|25px|57px|false|false” global_colors_info=”{}”][et_pb_column type=”1_4″ _builder_version=”4.21.0″ _module_preset=”default” global_colors_info=”{}”][et_pb_text admin_label=”Text” _builder_version=”4.21.0″ _module_preset=”default” global_colors_info=”{}”]

CPT code 98980

[/et_pb_text][/et_pb_column][et_pb_column type=”3_4″ _builder_version=”4.21.0″ _module_preset=”default” global_colors_info=”{}”][et_pb_text admin_label=”Text” _builder_version=”4.21.0″ _module_preset=”default” global_colors_info=”{}”]According to DHHS, CPT code 98980 is defined as follows: “Remote therapeutic monitoring treatment management services, physician/ other qualified health care professional time in a calendar month requiring at least one interactive communication with the patient/caregiver during the calendar month; first 20 minutes.”

So this CPT code is for any RTM where you have to have at least one interaction with your patient at least once a month for at least 20 minutes. This interactive communication can include you assessing your patient’s self-reported data and then using that data to decide on treatment and communicating your communication to your patient or their caregiver.[/et_pb_text][/et_pb_column][/et_pb_row][et_pb_row column_structure=”1_4,3_4″ module_class=”greybg-box” _builder_version=”4.21.0″ _module_preset=”default” background_color=”#f7f7f7″ width=”100%” max_width=”2560px” custom_margin=”60px||||false|false” custom_padding=”40px|57px|25px|57px|false|false” global_colors_info=”{}”][et_pb_column type=”1_4″ _builder_version=”4.21.0″ _module_preset=”default” global_colors_info=”{}”][et_pb_text admin_label=”Text” _builder_version=”4.21.0″ _module_preset=”default” global_colors_info=”{}”]

CPT code 98976

[/et_pb_text][/et_pb_column][et_pb_column type=”3_4″ _builder_version=”4.21.0″ _module_preset=”default” global_colors_info=”{}”][et_pb_text admin_label=”Text” _builder_version=”4.21.0″ _module_preset=”default” global_colors_info=”{}”]According to DHHS, CPT code 98976 is defined as follows: “Remote therapeutic monitoring (e.g., respiratory system status, musculoskeletal system status, therapy adherence, therapy response); device(s) supply with scheduled (e.g., daily) recording(s) and/or programmed alert(s) transmission to monitor respiratory system, each 30 days.”

This particular CPT code is specifically for the monitoring of the respiratory system over 30 days with scheduled recordings and alerts. So you’re reporting using this cpt code would include the device and the monitoring. You can bill this once for each month of treatment.[/et_pb_text][/et_pb_column][/et_pb_row][/et_pb_section][et_pb_section fb_built=”1″ module_class=”guide-banner” _builder_version=”4.21.0″ _module_preset=”default” background_image=”https://physiotec.ca/ca/wp-content/uploads/sites/2/2023/09/Group-1731@2x.png” background_position=”center_left” custom_margin=”55px||50px||false|false” custom_padding=”20px||20px||false|false” background_last_edited=”on|tablet” background_image_tablet=”https://physiotec.ca/ca/wp-content/uploads/sites/4/2023/09/Banner-Mobile-–-2.png” background_image_phone=”https://physiotec.ca/ca/wp-content/uploads/sites/4/2023/09/Banner-Mobile-–-2.png” background_enable_image_tablet=”on” background_enable_image_phone=”on” global_colors_info=”{}”][et_pb_row column_structure=”1_4,1_2,1_4″ _builder_version=”4.21.0″ _module_preset=”default” global_colors_info=”{}”][et_pb_column type=”1_4″ _builder_version=”4.21.0″ _module_preset=”default” global_colors_info=”{}”][/et_pb_column][et_pb_column type=”1_2″ _builder_version=”4.21.0″ _module_preset=”default” global_colors_info=”{}”][et_pb_text _builder_version=”4.21.0″ _module_preset=”default” background_layout=”dark” global_colors_info=”{}”]

e-Guide: RTM 101
Increasing Patient Satisfaction &
Clinic Reimbursement with Remote Therapeutic Monitoring (RTM)

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What Is the Difference Between Remote Therapeutic Monitoring and Remote Patient Monitoring?

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If you’re wondering why there is a need for new RTM codes when the Remote Patient Monitoring (RPM) codes already exist, it’s because they are two very different things. RPM codes are used for remote physiologic monitoring while RTM codes are used for non-physiological monitoring.

RPM means using a medical device to transmit data related to physiological factors like blood pressure levels, heart rate, weight, and more. Physiotherapy billing practitioners cannot use those codes to collect non-physiological data. With the new CPT codes for RTM, non-physiological data can be collected on things like pain tolerance, program adherence, and key information through self-reported data like how your client might be feeling on any given day.

In both cases, whether you use an RTM code or an RPM code, you must collect data through a medical device. That RPM or RTM device can include an app on a tablet or phone, which makes billing easier for primary billers in the therapy space.

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Benefits of Remote Therapeutic Monitoring in Physiotherapy

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Remote care allows you to provide better care. That’s because you are no longer reliant on single in-person visits to create the most viable treatment option for your client. Instead, through the use of medical devices that can be digital self-reporting tools you can assess your client throughout their treatment journey. That means you get to monitor and adjust your treatment when necessary.

Additionally, thanks to the use of the RTM codes, you don’t have to do that additional work for free. You can use the various RTM codes to bill each part of the service you provide in between your visits. For example, instead of freely giving out monitoring devices and educating your clients on them, you can bill for those monitoring devices and the monitoring you provide.

Additionally, accessibility to frequent face-to-face interactions with a physical therapist can be difficult for folks living in smaller towns and remote locations. With RTM and RTM Codes for billing you have the opportunity to provide excellent care from afar. That allows you to monitor your patients beyond a single visit so you get a deeper insight into the problem, the obstacle, and the solution.

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Why RTM Represents an Expansion of Reimbursement for the Use of Remote Monitoring Technologies

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Previously, healthcare professionals may have used remote therapeutic monitoring but could not bill for it. They could not bill for the time spent in educating their patient about the device for monitoring, nor providing the device. The introduction of the RTM code means that organizations like the American Medical Association (AMA) which governs the use of CPT codes see the value in remote monitoring in both the physiological and non-physiological indicators of fitness and effectiveness.

There seems to be a clear change in value mission that now sees the ability sees value in your being able to offer that non-physiological monitoring whereas before it was only remote physiological monitoring that was valued and allowed to be billed.

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Types of Technologies and Tools for Remote Therapeutic Monitoring in Physiotherapy

[/et_pb_text][et_pb_text _builder_version=”4.21.0″ _module_preset=”default” global_colors_info=”{}”]There are numerous technologies you can utilize to use RTM codes for physiotherapy. You can provide your clients with wearable devices like accelerometers for tracking movement and exercise. This can help you determine program adherence and figure out early signs of other difficulties in movement and abilities.

You can also utilize mobile applications as medical devices to allow for self-reporting data from your patients. There is still thought research going into what apps should be considered medical devices for RTM codes. However, currently, if you provide a device to your client with an app that allows you to monitor non-physiological data, it is considered billable using an RTM code.[/et_pb_text][/et_pb_column][/et_pb_row][et_pb_row _builder_version=”4.21.0″ _module_preset=”default” custom_padding=”40px||||false|false” global_colors_info=”{}”][et_pb_column type=”4_4″ _builder_version=”4.21.0″ _module_preset=”default” global_colors_info=”{}”][et_pb_text module_class=”inpost-title” _builder_version=”4.21.0″ _module_preset=”default” global_colors_info=”{}”]

Is Remote Therapeutic Monitoring For You?

[/et_pb_text][et_pb_text _builder_version=”4.21.0″ _module_preset=”default” global_colors_info=”{}”]Remote monitoring in healthcare is here to stay. For physical therapists, it is especially important because relying on infrequent medical visits to ensure your treatment provides results is not enough. Patients expect more from their healthcare providers now, including the use of tech. Tech-enhanced healthcare allows you to access data previously unavailable to you. This in turn assists you in providing better patient outcomes.

Previously, it was difficult for healthcare practitioners to bill for non-physiological remote monitoring despite its benefits. With the new RTM code, health professionals like physical therapists can bill for all the time spent on care in between medical visits. The use of digital technologies to enhance the human services you provide makes your practice leaner and more efficient which can help you scale your practice and help more patients.[/et_pb_text][/et_pb_column][/et_pb_row][/et_pb_section][et_pb_section fb_built=”1″ _builder_version=”4.21.0″ _module_preset=”default” custom_padding=”50px||50px||false|false” border_width_top=”1px” border_color_top=”#000000″ border_width_bottom=”1px” border_color_bottom=”#000000″ saved_tabs=”all” global_colors_info=”{}”][et_pb_row _builder_version=”4.21.0″ _module_preset=”default” global_colors_info=”{}”][et_pb_column type=”4_4″ _builder_version=”4.21.0″ _module_preset=”default” global_colors_info=”{}”][et_pb_text _builder_version=”4.21.0″ _module_preset=”default” text_orientation=”center” custom_margin=”||0px||false|false” custom_padding=”||0px||false|false” global_colors_info=”{}”]

Do you have more questions?

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FAQs

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1. Can RTM data be self-reported by the patient?

[/et_pb_text][et_pb_text module_class=”faq-text” _builder_version=”4.21.0″ _module_preset=”default” global_colors_info=”{}”]Yes, qualified healthcare professionals can give their patients tech devices that allow them to self-report. Self-reporting data can be used in assessing your patient between visits. The purpose of RTM is to allow you to analyze those non-physiological data sets to provide better treatment by addressing concerns and changing treatments between visits when needed.[/et_pb_text][/et_pb_column][/et_pb_row][et_pb_row _builder_version=”4.21.0″ _module_preset=”default” global_colors_info=”{}”][et_pb_column type=”4_4″ _builder_version=”4.21.0″ _module_preset=”default” global_colors_info=”{}”][et_pb_text module_class=”faq-number” _builder_version=”4.21.0″ _module_preset=”default” global_colors_info=”{}”]

2. What are the CPT Codes for RTM?

[/et_pb_text][et_pb_text module_class=”faq-text” _builder_version=”4.21.0″ _module_preset=”default” global_colors_info=”{}”]There are currently five CPT codes for RTM. You can find all of the details for when you should use each of them above. The five codes allow you to bill for providing the monitoring device, patient education as well as the monitoring itself.[/et_pb_text][/et_pb_column][/et_pb_row][et_pb_row _builder_version=”4.21.0″ _module_preset=”default” global_colors_info=”{}”][et_pb_column type=”4_4″ _builder_version=”4.21.0″ _module_preset=”default” global_colors_info=”{}”][et_pb_text module_class=”faq-number” _builder_version=”4.21.0″ _module_preset=”default” global_colors_info=”{}”]

3. How Does RTM Help Physical Therapists Provide Better Care Management Services

[/et_pb_text][et_pb_text module_class=”faq-text” _builder_version=”4.21.0″ _module_preset=”default” global_colors_info=”{}”]The use of RTM can greatly assist therapists in providing better care to their patients as treatments can be monitored and adjusted in between visits rather than relying on visits solely. Remote monitoring can also help therapists discover previously undisclosed factors that may affect treatment and make more informed decisions about when to pivot or continue treatment.[/et_pb_text][/et_pb_column][/et_pb_row][et_pb_row _builder_version=”4.21.0″ _module_preset=”default” global_colors_info=”{}”][et_pb_column type=”4_4″ _builder_version=”4.21.0″ _module_preset=”default” global_colors_info=”{}”][et_pb_text module_class=”faq-number” _builder_version=”4.21.0″ _module_preset=”default” global_colors_info=”{}”]

4. Who Can Use RTM Treatment Management Services?

[/et_pb_text][et_pb_text module_class=”faq-text” _builder_version=”4.21.0″ _module_preset=”default” global_colors_info=”{}”]You must be an eligible qualified healthcare professional. Eligible professionals include physical therapists, occupational therapists, and speech-language therapists.[/et_pb_text][/et_pb_column][/et_pb_row][et_pb_row admin_label=”Item 5″ _builder_version=”4.21.0″ _module_preset=”default” global_colors_info=”{}”][et_pb_column type=”4_4″ _builder_version=”4.21.0″ _module_preset=”default” global_colors_info=”{}”][et_pb_text module_class=”faq-number” _builder_version=”4.21.0″ _module_preset=”default” global_colors_info=”{}”]

5. Does RTM Require the Use of a Medical Device, or Can it Be Just a Wellness Wearable?

[/et_pb_text][et_pb_text module_class=”faq-number” _builder_version=”4.21.0″ _module_preset=”default” global_colors_info=”{}”]Currently, there is no one specific definition of what a medical device is for remote therapeutic monitoring. That means you can use a device that allows you to monitor your client’s progress following your therapy requirements. If a wellness wearable helps you monitor your patient to collect the therapeutic data you need for interactive communication, then it is viable under RTM.[/et_pb_text][/et_pb_column][/et_pb_row][et_pb_row _builder_version=”4.21.0″ _module_preset=”default” global_colors_info=”{}”][et_pb_column type=”4_4″ _builder_version=”4.21.0″ _module_preset=”default” global_colors_info=”{}”][et_pb_text module_class=”faq-number” _builder_version=”4.21.0″ _module_preset=”default” global_colors_info=”{}”]

6. Why Should Physical Therapists Use RTM

[/et_pb_text][et_pb_text module_class=”faq-text” _builder_version=”4.21.0″ _module_preset=”default” global_colors_info=”{}”]Utilizing RPM services helps you increase your reach to clients in remote locations. It also allows you to use self-reported data to create better results for your patients. This can help you amp your professional services to a whole new level.[/et_pb_text][/et_pb_column][/et_pb_row][/et_pb_section][et_pb_section fb_built=”1″ disabled_on=”on|on|on” admin_label=”faq2″ _builder_version=”4.21.0″ _module_preset=”default” custom_padding=”||40px||false|false” disabled=”on” global_colors_info=”{}”][et_pb_row _builder_version=”4.21.0″ _module_preset=”default” global_colors_info=”{}”][et_pb_column type=”4_4″ _builder_version=”4.21.0″ _module_preset=”default” global_colors_info=”{}”][et_pb_text module_class=”faq-number” _builder_version=”4.21.0″ _module_preset=”default” global_colors_info=”{}”]

7. What should I do when a patient isn’t adhering to an exercise program?

[/et_pb_text][et_pb_text module_class=”faq-text” _builder_version=”4.21.0″ _module_preset=”default” global_colors_info=”{}”]The number of exercises in a home exercise program can vary depending on the individual’s needs. Generally, it is recommended to start with a manageable number of exercises, focusing on quality rather than quantity. Around 5-7 exercises targeting different areas of the body may be appropriate for optimal adherence.[/et_pb_text][et_pb_text _builder_version=”4.21.0″ _module_preset=”default” global_colors_info=”{}”]Open Communication: Have a candid conversation with the patient to understand why they aren’t following the program. It could be due to a lack of motivation, physical discomfort, misunderstanding of instructions, or even lack of time.

Address Concerns: If the patient is experiencing pain or discomfort, you may need to modify the program or demonstrate the correct form and technique again to avoid any potential injury.

Motivation and Goal Setting: Ensure the patient understands the benefits of the program and how it aligns with their health goals. Set small, achievable goals and celebrate progress to boost motivation.

Simplify the Program: If the patient is finding the program too complicated or time-consuming, consider simplifying it or breaking it down into more manageable parts.

Integration into Daily Routine: Help the patient integrate exercises into their daily routine so it feels less like a chore.

Provide Written and Visual Instructions: Providing clear written instructions or video demonstrations can help the patient understand and follow the program better when at home.

Regular Check-ins and Follow-ups: Regular follow-ups, either in person, by phone, or via telehealth, can provide an opportunity to address any issues, monitor progress, and reinforce the importance of the exercise program.[/et_pb_text][et_pb_text module_class=”faq-text” _builder_version=”4.21.0″ _module_preset=”default” global_colors_info=”{}”]Remember, patient adherence can often take time and requires a lot of patience and motivation. Tailoring the program to the individual patient’s needs and capabilities can often result in better compliance.[/et_pb_text][/et_pb_column][/et_pb_row][/et_pb_section][et_pb_section fb_built=”1″ disabled_on=”on|on|on” module_class=”guide-banner” _builder_version=”4.21.0″ _module_preset=”default” background_image=”https://physiotec.ca/ca/wp-content/uploads/sites/2/2023/09/enhance.png” background_position=”center_right” custom_margin=”15px||15px||false|false” custom_padding=”20px||20px||false|false” background_last_edited=”on|tablet” background_image_tablet=”https://physiotec.ca/ca/wp-content/uploads/sites/4/2023/09/Banner-Mobile-–-2.png” background_image_phone=”https://physiotec.ca/ca/wp-content/uploads/sites/4/2023/09/Banner-Mobile-–-2.png” background_enable_image_tablet=”on” background_enable_image_phone=”on” disabled=”on” global_colors_info=”{}”][et_pb_row column_structure=”1_2,1_4,1_4″ _builder_version=”4.21.0″ _module_preset=”default” global_colors_info=”{}”][et_pb_column type=”1_2″ _builder_version=”4.21.0″ _module_preset=”default” global_colors_info=”{}”][et_pb_text _builder_version=”4.21.0″ _module_preset=”default” global_colors_info=”{}”]

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