The healthcare industry is ever-changing, and updates to existing systems and industry standards can have a significant effect on your business. For 2022, the Department of Health and Human Services has published a substantial update to a slew of medical codes, including a new family of CPT codes for remotely monitoring patients.
Specifically, these significant updates to remote therapeutic monitoring (RTM) codes can present some positive new opportunities for private practice owners who, for the first time, can be reimbursed for remotely monitoring their musculoskeletal patients from home.
So what is new for 2022, and what seems particularly important for your private practice?
The Difference Between RTM vs. RPM
First, let’s address any confusion that can arise regarding RTM and RPM codes due to a similarity in their acronyms. However, beyond just being one letter off in similarity, there is a critical difference between them.
Remote Therapeutic Monitoring (RTM) is the remote monitoring of non-physiologic patient data using a FDA approved device or software. RTM is applicable in medical billing when a device is used to monitor objective data including HEP completion, pain, treatment response, respiratory activity or musculoskeletal activity. This monitoring is particularly applicable to physical therapy practices. It can also allow for self-reported data by the patients themselves, like tracking data through an app.
Remote Patient Monitoring (RPM), in contrast, monitors patients’ physiological data, such as blood pressure or glucose levels.
Understanding 2022’s New RTM Codes for Physical Therapy
2022 features five new codes for healthcare providers to become familiar with. These definitions are sourced from the American Medical Association, Current Procedural Terminology CPT 2022 Professional Edition, February 2022. These codes were effective as of January 1st, 2022.
This code refers to remote therapeutic monitoring treatment management services by a physician or health care professional within the first 20 minutes per calendar month.
This code refers to remote therapeutic monitoring treatment management services by a physician or healthcare professional within each additional 20 minutes per calendar month.
This code refers to the initial set-up and education of patients for remote monitoring of therapy (e.g., respiratory, musculoskeletal systems status, therapy adherence, and therapy response).
This code refers to remote monitoring and device supply with scheduled recording and transmission of the respiratory system every 30 days.
This code refers to remote monitoring and device supply with scheduled recording and transmission of the musculoskeletal system every 30 days.
The language of these codes can sometimes appear overly similar. Therefore, it is essential to recognize that some specifically deal with monitoring while the rest deal with treatment management. The former consists of codes 98975, 98976, and 98977 – most of which focus on initial set-up and patient education. The latter consists of 98980 and 98981 and are used to report active management and monitoring.
As for what counts as a medical device, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration covers that on its website.
How RTM Codes Improve Your Healthcare Business
We see a lot of potential for private practice owners who develop a remote therapeutic monitoring program at their practice. The benefits include:
- Generating a sizable amount of new profit per providers
- Enhancing patient care by supporting them at home
- Improving overall patient compliance with stay-at-home exercises
- Tracking outcomes and measuring overall patient success
Increase Revenue and Patient Results with RTM
We know that RTM codes and the finer points therein can be confusing or unclear. To help out, we’ve provided a link to the complete documentation from the Department of Health and Human Services. Be sure to learn all you can about these updated codes for your medical practice.
Plus, our private practice coaches are here to talk you through the opportunities available with these codes to grow your patient programs. Then, our robust physical therapy billing service can help remove the billing and collection burden for your team so you don’t miss a step with these new codes.
Grab time on our calendar to discuss how you can launch and scale your remote therapeutic monitoring program!