The healthcare technological revolution has commenced and will continue attaining further momentum in 2022. Providers and patients are always looking for new and better ways to improve access to care. That’s why the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) issued the final rule on the 2022 Medicare Physician Payment Schedule updating payment policies, payment rates, and other provisions for services and clarifying the Remote Therapeutic Monitoring codes.
Therapy teams should utilize the newly approved access to the RTM CPT codes to support effective transitions across care environments and, most importantly, the evolution of alternative digital options to traditional care models.
Physicians struggle to discharge patients who suffer from significant clinical complexity and comorbidity that requires continued, sometimes even lifelong, monitoring of multiple body systems. As Physical Therapists exert all their efforts in providing extensive patient and caregiver training to ensure adequate understanding of safety and compensatory techniques, they still hope that all the lessons stick when patients return to their homes.
What if there was something that would allow them to monitor respiratory system status, musculoskeletal system status, therapy adherence, and therapy response; Remote therapeutic monitoring would.
So what exactly is Remote Therapeutic Monitoring (RTM)?
Remote Therapeutic Monitoring (RTM) is the recent release of CPT codes that support the management of patients who use medical devices to keep track of their non-physiological data. It’s a suite of five codes created by the CPT Editorial Panel in October 2020 and valued by the RUC at its January 2021 meeting.
What are the Remote Therapeutic Monitoring (RTM) CPT codes?
The Remote Therapeutic Monitoring/Treatment Management CPT codes are 98975, 98976, 98977, 98980, and 98981, elaborated as the following:
- CPT# 98975
Initial set-up and patient education on using the equipment for the respiratory system, musculoskeletal system, therapy adherence, and therapy response.
- CPT# 98976
Device(s) supply with scheduled periodic (daily, weekly, or monthly) recording(s) and/or programmed alert(s) transmission to monitor respiratory system, each 30 days
- CPT# 98977
Device(s) supply with scheduled periodic (daily, weekly, or monthly) recording(s) and/or programmed alert(s) transmission to monitor musculoskeletal system, each 30 days
- CPT# 98980
Remote therapeutic monitoring treatment, at least one interactive communication between the clinical staff and the patient during a calendar month, for 20 minutes
Remote therapeutic monitoring treatment, at least one interactive communication between the clinical staff and the patient during a calendar month, for additional 20 minutes
These codes allow the opportunity for patient engagement and ongoing conversation, maximizing the efficiency of these healthcare services and acknowledging significant challenges that emerged from physicians and ACOs about not broadening the remote patient monitoring services.
The wait for Remote Therapeutic Monitoring (RTM) is finally over. Is your practice ready for it?