Telehealth and Remote Patient Monitoring (RPM) will become the primary revenue source for digital chronic care companies in the next 2-3 years. As a result of social distancing during the COVID-19 pandemic, national healthcare systems and local governments have proceeded to reduce barriers to entry by supporting remote services. Within an optimistic reimbursement environment for telemedicine, the first adopters of these reimbursable remote services are already experiencing higher returns on their investment.
The shift from traditional revenue streams to reimbursement of remote services
A new trend in digital health is taking place. Leading providers which relied by and large on premium content, coaching subscriptions, and bundle services (incl. devices and sensors purchases) are now shifting towards payer focused business models by offering Remote Patient Monitoring (RPM) and telehealth as their main source of revenue. Traditionally, mobile health providers of chronic care solutions monetized mainly through the payer, healthcare providers and consumers. Although the yearly revenues per user have risen worldwide, the traditional revenue streams have grown steadily and without a strong case for reimbursement by statutory health insurances. These business models appear to have been only partly successful engaging the patients in the long run, namely due to inaccessible out-of-pocket expenses.
Last year, the separation of reimbursable and consumer revenues limited the digital chronic care providers considerably. This is no longer the case. Along with the COVID19 outbreak putting new priority on remote health services, governments have once again proceeded to enable a favorable regulatory environment for providers integrating telehealth and RPM services into their chronic care portfolio.
Reimbursable telehealth and RPM capabilities represents an interesting opportunity for businesses in digital chronic care to uplift their offerings through an attractive revenue model.
When combined with newfound Reimbursement-as-a-Revenue (RaaR) monetization models, the companies will be able to provide services to larger bases of patient by using reimbursement codes on a per member and per month basis to employers and payers. By billing fee-for-consultation services from a primary insurance, the competitors will now maximize their profitability and support real-time accessibility. You can learn more on the topic in by reading R2G’s global study on how the Coronavirus pandemic has influenced the digital health industry.
Remote Patient Monitoring and Telehealth services for better care services
Hundreds of digital chronic care providers have already started shifting to the telehealth space. Providers in weight loss and diabetes health, such as Livongo and Omada Health, have successfully expanded their offerings with behavioral health and musculoskeletal therapies by partnering with telehealth and RPM technology vendors.
Other companies, such as Tactio Health and DarioHealth, are now providing care at home services through RPM capabilities, which allow the healthcare providers to track and monitor patients in real-time, maintain follow-up teleconsultations, and stratifying them by risk levels. Another example of a chronic care company moving into this direction is that of the insulin delivery and diabetes technology company Tandem Diabetes Care which recently announced the acquisition of Sugarmate, a mobile app enabling RPM services along smart analytics and alerts. While being reimbursed, the RPM services of these companies, are expected to generate solid B2B2C revenue channels yielding higher margins and sustainable growth models.
Another example is Calibrate, an US American digital provider of metabolic health, which offers one-year telemedicine programs focused on weight loss with both prescription medications and health coaching services.
Tomorrow’s top-of-the-range providers are starting to enable telehealth and RPM services for their members as part of their insurance plan. The potential of integrating telehealth and RPM into core programs lays in the possibility of delivering on-demand access to a wider audience. As a result of their close deals with employers and payers, employees and members will benefit from chronic care and acute provision in real-time.
Of particular importance, as part of their expansion, the providers have shifted to utilize telehealth capabilities to help assess, monitor and triage patients at-home who are chronically ill and at high risk; from those living with ischemic heart failure, respiratory diseases, COPD, hypertension and diabetes. Once enrolled, these new members will be able to remotely consult specialists, as well as continue to subscribe programs. The new offerings expand innovative benefits for patients and doctors alike, all while breaking into new revenue streams and from the comfort of their own homes.
There are thousands of digital chronic care companies with the potential to integrate telehealth and RPM into their portfolio. Finding the right partner is key to build tomorrow’s state-of-the-art services in digital chronic care. It will open the door to a new level of revenue generation.
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