Seven Critical Questions to Ask When Evaluating a Remote Monitoring Partner

 

Many medical practices and health systems are turning to companies that help create, manage, and oversee remote monitoring programs. These programs, which help practices stay more connected to patients with implantable cardiac devices and/or vital sign measurement devices, can enhance patient care, improve physician and staff efficiency, and optimize reimbursement.

But not all companies that provide remote management services are equally effective, and as a result, many of the remote monitoring programs that practices and health systems have in place underperform. According to a recent article in Managed Healthcare Executive, most  programs engage only about half of eligible patients. And, even when patients do engage, providers struggle to keep them connected and find actionable insights in the data acquired.

That’s why we’ve identified the seven critical questions practices and health systems should ask when evaluating remote monitoring partners. The answers you receive will help ensure you select the best partner for your organization’s needs.

 

#1. Can you share an example of how you’ve partnered with a practice or health system to enhance your service and technology offerings?

The best remote monitoring companies continually improve their offerings, workflows, and technology platforms based on direct user feedback. Asking potential remote monitoring partners this question will help you identify which truly partner with their customers to create stronger solutions. The company should readily share examples, case studies, and references that attest to this attribute.

Also, consider asking potential partners for very specific examples that demonstrate how they partner with customers. For example:

  • Can you share an enhancement that you made to your technology platform based on input from physician users?
  • Can you share a unique approach you used to help a practice that was struggling to engage patients in its remote monitoring program?

For examples of how Rhythm Management Group partners closely with its customers to create stronger offerings, read this case study featuring Montefiore Medical Center, a premier academic medical center in New York City.

 

#2. What is your top priority as a company: Providing superior service or providing superior technology?  

 To create and foster a successful remote monitoring program, both service and technology are equally important. Service offerings provided by effective remote monitoring partners can help ensure optimal patient engagement, connectivity, and reimbursement (for more on how service offerings can accomplish these objectives, see question #3 below).

Then, once patients are engaged and connected to remote monitoring programs, a strong technology platform can help ensure efficient workflows for physicians and staff, stronger clinician review processes, and timelier patient interventions when necessary.

Asking potential partners about their top priorities can reveal much about the company’s overall philosophy and approach. The most effective remote monitoring companies prioritize both service and technology, and will be able to quickly and easily explain why both are equally important. Steer clear of those who prioritize technology over service, as it causes them to miss critical elements that help maximize the benefits of the solution

For more on how Rhythm Management Group prioritizes both service and technology, click here.

 

#3. On the service side of your offerings, what do you provide?

The best remote monitoring partners have a dedicated service team that focuses on cultivating patient engagement, ensuring connectivity, and enhancing scheduling compliance. Key offerings to look for include:

Eligible patient identification, engagement, and onboarding (including completing all the necessary paperwork and insurance eligibility processes)

  • Immediate resolution of connection problems
  • Ongoing monitoring
  • Optimized scheduling compliance (which leads to optimal remote monitoring reimbursement)
  • A company that offers the above services will be much more effective at increasing patient engagement and ensuring ongoing participation in the program.

To learn more about the value of service within a remote monitoring program, read this case study featuring Dignity Health Medical Group-Golden Empire Cardiology, a four-physician cardiology practice in California.

 

#4. On the technology side of your offerings, what do you provide?

The most effective remote monitoring partners leverage machine learning to deliver timely, accurate, clinical insights via an easy-to-navigate technology platform. While there are several technology features to seek out in a platform, critical elements include:

  • Real-time, customizable alerts
  • A modern, easy-to-navigate interface
  • Automated image processing
  • Intuitive clinical and operational reporting
  • Bi-directional EHR integration

In addition to seeking out key features and functions, also look for a partner that can clearly explain how their technology fulfills three objectives:

1.  Makes processes more efficient for your clinical and administrative teams (i.e., combines clinical expertise and machine-learning technology to eliminate “noise” and streamline review processes).

2.  Makes processes more intuitive (i.e., makes it easy to review, share, and analyze patient data)

3.  Makes processes more impactful (i.e., enables faster identification of patient health problems so your team can intervene sooner).

To learn more about the technology platforms features to look for in a remote monitoring partner, click here.

 

#5. What proof points can you share related to device connectivity and patient engagement?

The most effective remote monitoring companies successfully identify and enroll nearly all of their customers’ eligible patients. This sounds simple, but it is where many programs falter. In fact, across the country, it’s estimated that only about 40% to 45% of patients who qualify for remote monitoring are actually connected to devices and monitored by physicians.

So what connectivity and engagement benchmarks should you use to evaluate potential partners? The partner should demonstrate an ability to enroll, engage, and connect more than 90% of eligible patients. They should also readily provide references and case studies attesting to this level of success.

To learn more about how to optimize patient engagement and connectivity in remote monitoring programs, click here.

 

#6. How do you help your customers scale their programs and optimize reimbursement?

When healthcare organizations engage with an effective remote monitoring partner, the impact on revenue can be significant. For example, after Montefiore Medical Center engaged with a remote monitoring partner, the health system nearly tripled the number of patients engaged in its program, obtained 95% transmission scheduling compliance for these patients, and began billing approximately $1 million annually for remote monitoring services.

Any remote monitoring company you are considering should clearly explain how they will optimize your reimbursement by: 

  • 1.  Onboarding and engaging more patients in your program
  • 2.  Ensuring compliance with scheduling rules for each patient based on your payer portfolio and location.

Also, be sure to request references who can attest to the company’s impact on reimbursement. 

To learn more about how the right remote monitoring partner can optimize reimbursement, click here.

 

#7. How clinically experienced is your leadership team?

Many remote management companies were founded and are currently led by individuals without clinical backgrounds. Don’t settle for this type of partner. Seek out a company that was founded by a clinician and continues to be led by a strong clinical team. A company  with a strong clinical foundation will better understand the remote monitoring challenges practices and health systems face, and as a result, provide a more efficient and effective program that fits seamlessly into your workflows.

To learn more about Rhythm Management Group’s founder, click here. To learn more about the clinical team, click here.

 

Ready to ask Rhythm Management Group these seven questions–and any others you have about partnering with us! We’d love to chat. Contact us here