After a public health emergency (PHE) was announced in January of 2020 to help the nation address the COVID-19 pandemic, Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) subsequently eased the burdens for using remote monitoring technologies in Medicare, including the option to waive copays, the ability to treat both new and established patients, flexibility on CMS’ requirement for 16 days of data collection each month, and others – each significant barriers on their own to the uptake of medically necessary remote monitoring. With the PHE ending, these waivers and flexibilities have disappeared and the barriers they moved aside will be put back into place.

Recent reports have shown us that just a quarter of healthcare practices offer remote monitoring, with fewer planning to offer it in the future. Even before the pandemic, a growing evidence base reinforced this technology’s ability to early detect issues and improve outcomes, reduce costs, augment population health management, and alleviate staff burnout; its use during the PHE, without some legacy restrictions in place, further demonstrated that remote monitoring technology is central in providing medically necessary and responsible care in addressing both chronic and acute diseases. Yet still, a range of concerns persist, including in areas like administrative constraints on use, staffing and infrastructure barriers, patient technology literacy and uptake challenges, accessibility for Medicare beneficiaries in the transition from fee for service to value-based care, and reimbursement variables with private payers and state Medicaid programs. Clearly, more must be done to support the remote monitoring use case in order to realize its potential and value.

With the many challenges presented, a cornerstone of any policymaker decision to use remote monitoring technology needs to start with an understanding of how it provides value to patients and providers. To date, there is not one central resource vetting and categorizing clinical studies and best practices to inform government and industry decisions that need to be made to support remote monitoring and other key digital health modalities. CHI is building such a resource, in collaboration with expert clinicians and based on strong coverage determination standards, that will be launched in the next 30 days as a resource for the industry, Congress, and the Administration.