Implementing RTM at Alliance Physical Therapy Partners: Lessons Learned

In early 2022, CMS created new codes for Remote Therapeutic Monitoring (RTM), allowing providers to bill for the remote management of their patients with musculoskeletal and respiratory conditions using medical devices (including certain software) that collect non-physiological data. With the new codes, providers can now be reimbursed for collecting “therapeutic data” using the virtual patient engagement, communication, and monitoring techniques that many clinicians were already performing. 

To take advantage of this rewarding opportunity, Alliance Physical Therapy Partners leveraged the MedBridge Remote Therapeutic Monitoring Solution to implement RTM across their organization. In the process of developing an effective RTM service, Alliance encountered a number of successes and challenges. 

In this article, we take a closer look at those challenges along with Alliance’s tips for success to help other providers and organizations just starting out on their RTM journey. 

Primary Challenges That Alliance Faced 

While developing its RTM service, Alliance had to: 

  • Grapple with the unknowns of a new service that no one in the industry yet knew how to operationalize or bill for. 
  • Overcome activation barriers with patients by getting them to consistently log data while they were performing their exercises.
  • Adapt to the structure of the billing codes, which are based on a calendar month rather than a 30-day period. Alliance found that it takes some time for an organization to fully understand the billing experience and provide the guidance needed to receive consistent reimbursement. 
  • Master the necessary coordination between the patient, the clinician, and the case manager (the person responsible for overseeing RTM patient data; ensuring that clinicians are properly performing monitoring, documentation, and tracking; and flagging patient issues for follow-up).

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Tips for Success 

To overcome the challenges above and succeed with RTM, Alliance recommends the following best practices: 

Improving Clinician and Patient Activation

  • Plan ahead to ensure that clinicians buy into digital care and electronic sharing before implementing RTM and as an ongoing process. An effective way to do this is by helping clinicians understand the benefits of RTM with resources such as MedBridge’s eBook for clinicians, Caring for Patients Digitally.
  • Position an RTM expert within your organization, or hire and train someone with experience building home exercise programs, as an RTM Case Manager to ensure that clinicians are assigning monitoring services to eligible patients. 
  • Identify and elevate a trusted thought leader in your organization who can be an implementation champion for RTM. 
  • Improve the clinician and patient experience by providing a login-ready program at the first evaluation. 
  • Help clinicians reduce time spent explaining the login process by providing clear login instructions for patients with lobby signage, emails, and handouts such as those available in the Patient Resources section on the MedBridge RTM Resources page. 

Motivating Patients Who Aren’t as Tech-Savvy

  • For patients who have trouble logging in consistently, coach them through the process over the phone. (For Alliance, calling one or two days after treatment was optimal.) If patients self-report that they aren’t good with technology, it’s especially important to set up the first phone follow-up at the in-person visit.
  • Review RTM data during in-person visits. 
  • Discuss the value of RTM with patients and point to benefits such as easier access to targeted care, which helps them get better faster. 
  • Talk about Medicare accountability with patients. For example: “Medicare wants to see that you’re doing your HEP at home, so logging your activities helps us continue to provide this remote care that will help you improve more quickly.”
  • Send login information via text so that the patient uses a biometric on their phone to log in. This makes logging in easy every time. (This function can be re-enabled as well if it’s initially declined.) 
  • When calling patients, use a phone number that shows the name of your organization so that the call isn’t displayed as unknown. 

Help your clinicians and patients adapt to new RTM workflows by downloading clear, easy-to-follow handouts from the RTM Resources section of the MedBridge Support Site. 


MedBridge Is Your Partner for Remote Therapeutic Monitoring

At MedBridge, we’re helping many organizations like Alliance retain more patients and collect more revenue with our Remote Therapeutic Monitoring Solution. Our solution includes everything you need to digitally assign programs, monitor patient progress, communicate with patients, and accurately track for efficient RTM billing. 

  • Easily integrate RTM directly into your existing workflows.
  • Quickly document and report on RTM patients with built-in analytics and dashboards.
  • Capture additional revenue today—as much as $423,937 annually for a 20-PT clinic.