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14 Ways Text Messaging Drives Remote Patient Monitoring Success

people in call center for remote patient monitoring

Remote patient monitoring, also referred to as remote physiologic monitoring and RPM, has seen a meteoric rise over these past several years — a surge in adoption and usage kicked off by the COVID-19 pandemic. It's projected that there will be nearly 71 million U.S. RPM users by 2025. This is a figure that doesn't seem unreasonable given how much RPM has been embraced by providers, patients, and payers.

The momentum behind and appreciation of remote patient monitoring shows no signs of slowing down, with the federal government throwing significant weight behind the service. For example, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) announced in its 2024 physician fee schedule final rule that it was expanding the types of organizations that will be reimbursed for providing RPM (as well as remote therapeutic monitoring, or RTM) to now include federally qualified health centers (FQHCs) and rural health clinics (RHCs).

Achieving the Full Potential of Remote Patient Monitoring

While the increased usage of remote patient monitoring and growth of RPM programs are great news, the potential of RPM to improve care and outcomes will only be fully realized if patients are effectively onboarded, educated, and continually engaged in these programs. Without strong adherence, RPM risks becoming an afterthought for patients, which will likely lead to reduced participation in the program. This can translate to decreases in usage of and data collected by RPM devices, like blood pressure monitors, weight scales, pulse oximeters, and blood glucose meters.

When RPM engagement declines, it will not only diminish the value of remote patient monitoring for patients and raise the likelihood that warning signs of a potential health complication are missed, but it can also lead to the loss of potential revenue for providers.

Texting as an Essential Remote Patient Monitoring Tool

Providers looking to strengthen patient engagement and adherence to improve the performance of their remote patient monitoring programs are increasingly turning to HIPAA-compliant text messaging. Texting, including automated messages, can be used in numerous ways to support an RPM program and achieve pivotal touch points with patients that establish and keep them as active participants.

When using texting for remote patient monitoring, providers are achieving:

  1. More consistent capturing of patient data

  2. Greater patient self-management of their conditions

  3. Enhanced communication and care coordination

  4. Better outcomes and satisfaction

  5. Improved billing and collections

14 Ways to Leverage Text Messaging for Remote Patient Monitoring

Here are some of the ways Dialog Health clients are using texting to support and grow their remote patient monitoring programs.

1. Confirming remote patient monitoring eligibility

Once a provider determines a patient is eligible for remote patient monitoring, a text goes out to the patient informing them of their eligibility. This message also includes a brief description of RPM and often one or more links to online resources that provide additional details on the health and financial value of the service. The message encourages patients to call the provider to schedule their initial, in-person RPM appointment so they can learn more about RPM, enroll in the program, and receive onboarding.

When two-way text messaging, which allows information to be pushed and pulled from recipients, is used, providers are asking patients if they would like to receive a phone call from the provider's organization to discuss RPM and schedule their appointment. Patients can then respond with a text and accept or decline the offer.

2. Sharing RPM onboarding materials

Following the enrollment and onboarding appointment, providers send text messages that include links to the onboarding materials reviewed during the appointment. This gives patients access to digital copies. Providers also include links to additional supporting resources.

If the provider gave the patient an RPM device during the enrollment appointment, the text message may include links to materials, often videos, that walk patients through device setup and usage.

3. RPM device updates

If patients will be receiving their remote patient monitoring device in the mail from a vendor rather than picking up the device at the provider's office, text messages can keep patients current on when they should expect to receive the package with the device.

Once tracking shows the device has been delivered, a two-way text is sent asking patients to confirm they received the piece of equipment. When patients confirm receipt, a subsequent text asks if patients would like to receive a phone call from the provider's office to discuss setup and usage that can further support information from the vendor that was included with the device.

4. First successful remote patient monitoring device usage

When using a remote patient monitoring device for the first time, patients may question whether they have done so successfully and whether data captured by the device was properly transmitted to the provider's office. To alleviate these concerns, providers send patients a text message informing them that they have successfully completed an initial usage of the device and that data is flowing properly. Praising patients for successfully participating in RPM can help with engagement.

This text message also asks patients if they have any questions about using their device or encountered any challenges and include a number to the provider's office patients can call to receive assistance. A two-way text message gives patients the option to reply and receive a call from the office.

5. One month of remote patient monitoring success

A big challenge with remote patient monitoring is getting patients to follow the schedule for taking readings. Providers are using text messaging to acknowledge when patients have successfully completed their first month in an RPM program and encourage patients to continue to adhere to the schedule.

This text message often reiterates the health benefits of remote patient monitoring to further motivate patient adherence.

6. Decline in RPM readings

When a remote patient monitoring system flags a patient who is not consistently taking their readings, the provider sends a text message reminding patients of the importance of adherence and asking if they require assistance with using their device.

For some patients, these reminder text messages early in their RPM program experience can help patients establish a good routine that leads to more consistent readings and an adequate number of readings for providers to bill the service. As the American College of Physicians notes, monitoring using at least one medical device must occur for at least 16 days of a 30-day period for remote patient monitoring CPT codes 99453 and 99454 to be billed (i.e., the 16-day RPM requirement).

7. Clinical interventions

A key benefit of remote patient monitoring is the ability for providers to virtually identify when a patient's health is experiencing a rapid, unwanted change, like greatly elevated blood pressure or a significant weight change. When such a change is detected, providers are sending text messages informing patients that a clinical intervention is needed and explaining to patients what they should do (e.g., schedule an appointment with the provider's office, go to the emergency room).

Using a two-way text messaging system is beneficial here as the text message can ask patients to confirm they received the message and find out if patients would like assistance scheduling an appointment.

8. Ongoing feedback and advice

Not all changes in remote patient monitoring readings require an urgent clinical intervention. In instances when readings are moving in the wrong direction, providers send text messages that provide feedback and advice on what patients can do to get their measurements back into a healthier, safer range. Advice can touch on topics including medication adherence, diet, and exercise, and are increasingly speaking to social determinants of health (SDOH) barriers.

The message also asks if patients require assistance in any of these areas. Confirmation empowers providers to reach out to provide health and wellness guidance, support, and resources.

9. RPM support via Telehealth

Patients using remote patient monitoring often benefit from supporting Telehealth appointments. These appointments can help with troubleshooting RPM device setup and usage, reviewing health and wellness instructions and recommendations, and giving providers an opportunity to share new guidance with patients that can help with their disease management.

Text messages can include a link to a provider's Telehealth platform, thus turning a patient's phone into a Telehealth tool. A texting system should have the capability to inform a provider when a patient receives the Telehealth invitation text message. Once the patient selects the link, a web browser or the phone's default video-telephony app will automatically open and the camera on the phone should activate, making it simple for patients to take advantage of and receive the benefits of Telehealth.

10. Patient RPM billing and collections

Patients who are enrolled in a remote patient monitoring program will likely have ongoing expenses. As this article notes, "For Medicare patients, they should expect copays until they meet their deductible. Once the deductible is met, remote patient monitoring is covered at 80% and beneficiaries can expect to pay on average about $25 per month for each month of monitoring." 

Providers are making it easy for patients to cover their monthly costs by sending text messages that inform or remind patients of their financial responsibility and including a link to a patient portal through which patients can make payments or a phone number patients can call to make a payment. Two-way text messages will often include the option for patients to request a call to make a payment or discuss payment options.

11. Online reviews for remote patient monitoring program

As more patients learn about remote patient monitoring and understand its benefits, more are seeking out the service. Providers looking to add patients to their organization and grow their RPM program will want to stand out in a positive way when patients are seeking RPM providers.

That's why providers with RPM programs are using text messaging to increase their number of ratings and reviews. Providers send text messages to patients that include a direct link to an online platform where they maintain a profile (e.g., Google, Facebook) and encourage patients to go to the platform to leave a review of their remote patient monitoring experience.

12. Capturing testimonials

Another way remote patient monitoring providers are working to improve marketing of their RPM programs is by gathering testimonials from satisfied participants. Providers are sending two-way text messages to patients asking them to respond with comments about their experience. If a patient provides great commentary, the provider sends another text asking for permission to publish the testimonial. If the respondent approves, the provider can publish the review as a social media post and/or on its website, helping strengthen a provider's and RPM program's reputation.

13. Remote patient monitoring satisfaction surveys

Providers are using texting to conduct satisfaction surveys and get feedback from remote patient monitoring program participants about their RPM experience. The text message is either providing a link to an online satisfaction survey, including a phone number patients can call to discuss their experience, and/or asking patients to reply to question in a two-way text that asks patients rate their RPM experience. One study showed more than 80% of patients are willing to take satisfaction surveys via text message.

When patients express high levels of satisfaction with their remote patient monitoring experience, providers send follow-up texts asking these patients to leave an online review.

14. Engaging family members

In situations where a patient using remote patient monitoring is receiving support from a family member, text messaging provides important updates and information to this family member. Such communication further strengthens RPM engagement and adherence.

Achieving Remote Patient Monitoring Success With Text Messaging

For organizations planning to launch a remote patient monitoring program or grow an existing RPM program, two-way text messaging is a must-have solution. It can help improve patient engagement, patient adherence, patient satisfaction, billing and collections, and program growth while greatly reducing staff workload and the number of manual tasks required for RPM program management.

But not all text messaging platforms are the same when it comes to effectively supporting remote patient monitoring programs.

Dialog Health: A Leading RPM Texting Company

Dialog Health has extensive remote patient monitoring experience. Our two-way text messaging platform, which includes powerful analytics, makes it easier for providers to start and scale their RPM programs. The Dialog Health solution integrates with existing systems to ensure the seamless data flow that keeps remote patient monitoring programs performing at a high level. And the Dialog Health team understands what's required for RPM success, which reduces the time needed for an RPM provider to go-live with two-way text messaging and incorporate texting into its remote patient monitoring workflows.

Reach out to Dialog Health today to learn more about our remote patient monitoring capabilities and schedule a demo of our platform.


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