WASHINGTON, D.C. – The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services recently proposed changes to the Home Health Prospective Payment System that could pave the way for home health agencies to be reimbursed for remote patient monitoring under Medicare—and while it’s a positive move forward, industry experts caution that more needs to be done.
“It’s exciting to have CMS open the door to reimbursement for remote patient monitoring,” said Gigi Sorenson, chief clinical offider at telemedicine software/hardware provider GlobalMed. “Those institutions that blazed the path of remotely monitoring their chronically ill patients while absorbing the capital outlay should be praised. Now, with a clear path to reimbursement, it is likely more providers will launch RPM programs.”
CMS made the proposal as part of a larger group of changes to the HHPPS, which include allowing the cost of remote patient monitoring to be reported by home health agencies as allowable costs on the Medicare cost report form.
Under the proposed changes, home health agencies will not be reimbursed for remote patient monitoring services, but will be able to instead factor the cost of RPM into the costs-per-visit.
The proposed changes could boost a provider’s bottom line and will encourage a wider adoption of RPM in the industry, said Arlene Maxim, a home health expert and speaker.
“In the past, home health agencies have attempted to use telehealth with little success,” she said. “This will all change when the cost is mitigated and potential revenue can be generated.”
The proposals “would give doctors more time to spend with their patients, allow home health agencies to leverage innovation and drive better results for patients,” said Seema Verma, CMS Administrator, in a statement.
CMS expects the proposed changes to help foster the adoption of emerging technologies by home health agencies and result in more effective care planning, as data is shared among patients, their caregivers and their providers.
CMS is accepting comments on the proposed home health rule until Aug. 31.