The world of Medicare is constantly evolving to allow practitioners to provide effective patient care outside the clinic. For instance, Remote Patient Monitoring (RPM) is a form of telehealth that allows a patient’s health status to be conveniently monitored from their own home and remotely reviewed by their healthcare providers. Remote Patient Monitoring can vastly improve telehealth services for medical practitioners, but adding pharmacists to the equation can offer even more benefits. In this post, we’ll explore the pivotal role pharmacists play in successful remote patient management.    

Why Pharmacists Are Crucial to Successful Remote Patient Monitoring

RPM software allows providers to track medical data while their patients are at home, instead of waiting for in-person or virtual visits. To be compliant with Medicare’s guidelines this data is automatically transmitted to the provider remotely. The Pharmacists and their clinical staff monitor the vitals from the patients data. offering comprehensive insights into the patient’s health that can be used to inform treatment decisions, manage chronic conditions and prevent unneeded hospitalizations and ER visits.

With this data, providers can detect unusual fluctuations and other health concerns early on, allowing for immediate intervention and better health outcomes. And it can be even more effective when used collaboratively with pharmacists, due to their expertise in medication management, patient education, and real-time monitoring. Here’s how pharmacists can contribute to the success of remote patient monitoring.

1: Medication Management

Pharmacists are well-versed in medications and have a deep understanding of their interactions and side effects, as well as the importance of patient adherence. This expertise is vital in ensuring that patients take their medications as prescribed. Pharmacists can use RPM data to evaluate the patient’s adherence, identify issues as they arise, and recommend medication adjustments to the practitioner to ensure better health outcomes. 

2: Patient Education

Another strength of pharmacists is their ability to communicate complex medical information in an easily digestible way. Since Remote Patient Monitoring only works if the patient consistently submits data, effective patient education is critical. Pharmacists can empower patients with information about the benefits of monitoring their health and the importance of adhering to their prescribed medications. The better a patient understands the importance of RPM, the more likely they are to follow through. 

3: Real-Time Monitoring and Intervention

Pharmacists can also use RPM to help patients manage their conditions in between visits to their Primary Care Provider (PCP). Continuous monitoring helps prevent complications and improves chronic care management by allowing for data collection outside the clinic. Whether it’s tracking blood pressure, glucose levels, or medication adherence, pharmacists can identify potential issues early on and promptly notify the PCP. 

4. Leveraging Existing Patient Relationships

In an RPM partnership between physicians and pharmacies, there’s often an overlap in patient clientele. Pharmacists and their clinical staff can capitalize on these existing relationships, transitioning seamlessly to a proactive care model by managing device data and increasing communication frequency. Patients, already familiar with the pharmacists, appreciate this elevation in care.

Can Pharmacists Bill Medicare for Remote Patient Monitoring?

Practitioners are incentivized to run RPM from Medicare by the potential reimbursements. Medicare pays for the time spent working on RPM  in 20 minute increments with a maximum of 80 minutes a month as well as additional reimbursements for collecting 16 days of devices readings within 30 days. Even though pharmacists play an important role in Remote Patient Monitoring, Medicare does not yet recognize them as billing providers for these services. 

However, providers can contract pharmacists to oversee Remote Patient Monitoring programs under general supervision. This collaboration allows pharmacists to bill the provider as “incident-to” services. The provider will be reimbursed by Medicare for RPM, and can then compensate the pharmacists for services provided. 

Improve Patient Outcomes with Quality RPM Software

With their expertise in medication management, patient education, and real-time monitoring, pharmacists can significantly contribute to the success of managing patients’ chronic conditions. Maximizing the role of pharmacists in Remote Patient Monitoring can improve patient health outcomes, provide a boost in additional revenue to both pharmacy and the physician and decrease exacerbations of issues with patients because of an increased level of proactive care. At ValueCare Suite, we believe in the value these programs provide to patients and see a perfect relationship between physicians and pharmacies who are already working collaboratively to manage RPM.  We provide reliable, easy-to-use RPM systems for pharmacists and practitioners to better manage and scale these programs. Contact us today to book a demonstration

Images used under creative commons license – commercial use (3/7/2024). Photo by National Cancer Institute on Unsplash