There is a lot of hype about digital medicine. Though the definition of what digitla medicine mans varies, many digital devices are able to monitor patient physiology, medication adherence, or other behavior and communicate that with the patient as well as their provider team. One key barrier to having the provider team actually use these data is reimbursement. Digital medicine offers physician the possibility of improved care, but spending too long reviewing digital medicine information means that there is less time in the day left to work on revenue-generating activities (like seeing patients).
Last week, the AMA took steps to rectify this issue. The AMA is adding the following digital medicine related codes to their 2019 Current Procedural Terminology (CPT®) code set. These codes include:
- 99453 Remote monitoring of physiologic parameter(s), (for example, weight, blood pressure, pulse oximetry, respiratory flow rate) initial; setup and patient education on equipment use.
- 99454 Device(s) supply with daily recording(s) or programmed alert(s) transmission, each 30 days.
- 99457 Remote physiologic monitoring treatment management services, 20 minutes or more of clinical staff/physician/other qualified health care professional time in a calendar month requiring interactive communication with the patient/caregiver during the month.
While there are a number of other barriers to digital medicine usage (e.g., integration into EMR, long-run patient adherence, easy of use, value of the information created etc.), the AMA decision removes one key barrier to using digital medicine in practice: making sure providers are reimbursed for their time reviewing these data.