What all Rehab Therapists need to know
What is RTM?
Remote Therapeutic Monitoring (RTM) codes were specifically designed to monitor non-physiologic data related to the respiratory or musculoskeletal systems. It also covers monitoring patient adherence and response to therapy, including home exercise program compliance. What makes these codes different, however, is that therapists can now bill Medicare and other insurances for exactly the kind of work that many have considered essential to achieving good clinical outcomes for years.
RTM Service Codes
98975: Remote therapeutic monitoring (e.g. respiratory system status, musculoskeletal system status, therapy adherence, therapy response); initial set-up and patient education on use of equipment.
98976: 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
98977: 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 musculoskeletal system, each 30 days
RTM Treatment Management Codes
98980: Remote therapeutic monitoring treatment, 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
98981: Remote therapeutic monitoring treatment, 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; each additional 20 minutes
Why should I be interested in RTM?
- Revenue stream
- Improve patient outcomes and satisfaction
- Minimal extra effort from what you’re already doing in your daily workflow
- 98975: $19.58
- 98976: $55.72
- 98977: $55.72
- 98980: $49.56
- 98981: $39.90
For every patient you prescribe exercises and provide at least 20 min of monitoring and communication outside of a visit, you would receive ~ $70. Let’s say you do this with just 5 patients a month, that’s an extra $350 per month, or $4200 per therapist/year. And that’s without trying or going beyond your usual interaction with a patient, with only one hour per month outside of visits dedicated to communicating with those 5 patients.
If you did this with 5 patients per week, that’s 1 hour per week of communication with patients on their specific exercises, adherence, making changes, etc. That’s an extra $1,400 per month, or $16,800 per therapist/year. Extra. For helping the patient to be consistent with their HEP in an attempt to achieve great outcomes and help them meet their functional goals. Improved patient outcomes, increased patient satisfaction and additional revenue.
Here’s an idea of some of the potential extra revenue (realistically) based on the number of patients you engage in RTM with:
|# of patients enrolled (1 month)||Codes billed||$ translation||Totals||Time committ|
|15||98975||$20 x 15||$300||Within eval|
|10||98977||$55 x 10||$550||~ 10 min|
|8||98980||$50 x 8||$400||2 hrs 40 min / mo|
|2||98981||$40 x 2||$80||40 min / mo|
|$1,330||3 ½ hours / mo|
|x 12 mon||$15,960|
How do I get started?
You’ll want to ensure that you’re using a device that is considered “software as a medical device”. Your EMR should allow you to bill the RTM codes without difficulty. Contact your OptimisPT support team for step-by-step help if you have any questions. We also have additional Workshops scheduled specific to RTM to help guide you through establishing your workflows and specific case examples that have resulted in payment from four different payers. Not a current OptimisPT subscriber? We have some great incentives for new customers to get you started with the only rehab specific EMR that boasts embedded clinical decision support to help guide the provider to the best clinical diagnosis, based on the published clinical practice guidelines. Better classification of the impairment pattern = more specific intervention = better clinical outcomes.
How can OptimisPT help?
OptimisPT’s optimumMe patient engagement app allows you to bill for RTM. The 2000+ exercises and videos flow directly from OptiimisPT to optimumMe, with reminders to perform the exercises based on the frequency prescribed. The patient has the ability to indicate when the exercises were completed, if they’re having any pain or difficulty with the exercises, or anything else he/she wishes to communicate. The messaging lands on the OptimisPT home page for the provider to see so that he/she can respond and recommend any necessary updates to the program. One of the requirements to bill out 98980 and 98981 is “at least one interactive communication with the patient/caregiver during the calendar month”. In addition to the bidirectional text option, OptimisPT has embedded telehealth called OptimisMeet, to allow an option for interactive communication if visualization of the exercises or the patient is needed. Both the optimumMe patient engagement app and OptimisMeet are included in the OptimisPT pricing for all users. The use of “non-visit communication” within the EMR platform allows the provider to document any time spent performing RTM activities to support the codes being billed. OptimisPT has also created text templates specific to RTM to help with the supportive documentation.
OptimisPT will also be releasing some additional features over the next few months that only further help to refine the RTM workflow within your organization. Let us know how we can help your practice earn additional revenue and promote improved patient outcomes with Remote Therapeutic Monitoring.