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The Promise of Remote Patient Monitoring in Chronic Pain

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Remote patient monitoring (RPM) is a key component in the future of medical care. When the goal of patient care is improved quality of life, doctors need to measure how patients do between visits in their real lives. This is particularly important in chronic disease such as pain management.  With proper implementation, a practice can achieve major improvements in documentation, adherence, efficiency, and revenue. 

Pain Scored started as a way to digitise the pain diary.  It evolved into much more: a system for improving care and practice metrics. Pain Scored helped practices achieve improvements in mood and aggregate well-being providing value to practices.  

Shifting the documentation burden is a key component to patient empowerment. The more that patients participate in the process, the more they gain and the better the outcomes. The data helps with justifying prescriptions or interventional therapies. It’s part of a virtuous cycle of improved care.   

The platform assists in tracking patient reports of pain, opioid utilization, functional ability, and mental health. These standard assessments are critical cornerstones in the management of chronic pain. The platform is easily customisable to any medical practice – be it internal medicine, physical medicine and rehabilitation, neurology, or surgery. 

Dr Bryan Marascalchi, co-founder of Patient Premier and Pain Medicine faculty at the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine states: ‘Pain is a complex, multi-dimensional phenomenon that cuts across all medical specialities. Without RPM, a clinician’s data is limited to a few points in time – actual visits.  What happens between those visits is a function of the patient’s recall and ability. RPM fills in the gaps, leading to better extrapolation of trends, analysis of patient needs, and treatment outcomes.’ 

While physicians have benefited greatly from embracing remote care, it can seem difficult at first. Pain Scored makes it easy. It helps streamline workflow.  Reports are easy to pull up and documentation easy to perform. In this era of physical isolation, Pain Scored has only accelerated the inevitable trend and, like so much in healthcare, you don’t want to get left behind. 

In-office assessments add 1–1.5 hours on average to a patient visit.  Beyond time, it’s an administrative burden for staff.  Maintenance for equipment adds to concerns. Instead, Pain Scored process is on a patients device, made more convenient. By saving hours from an office visit, you can increase patient visits and spend less time asking questions. Increased productivity is estimated to be 2-5 patient visits/day and 20% more efficient time with QHCP’s (Qualified Health Care Providers). 

Added revenue is a plus. CMS has incentivised the investments needed for all practices to adopt RPM by creating specific reimbursement codes. Unlike traditional complexity based codes, these time-based codes require staff to attest to the time spent between office visits.  When you add in codes for assessment of mood and behavioural risk, practices have had new opportunities to improve care. Payments of $100 to $150 per patient/per month are possible depending on the clinical situation.  

Recent efforts to criminalise pain medicine increase the need for documentation. Pain Scored fits into the risk management toolkit along with the pain contract or urine drug testing.  

Pain Scored is not just a tool but a revolutionary system of measuring the quality of life. Isn’t that what patients really need? 

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