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The Difference Between RTM and RPM

May 23, 2023
Remote Therapeutic Monitoring (RTM) and Remote Physiologic Monitoring (RPM) allow healthcare providers to remotely monitor the condition of their patients. But what does each mean, what services are included and who can bill the associated CPT codes for RTM and RPM?
Healthcare Provider examining diagnostic image

Remote Physiologic Monitoring (RPM) vs. Remote Therapeutic Monitoring (RTM)

During the COVID-19 Pandemic, the Remote Physiologic Monitoring (RPM) codes proved to be invaluable for physicians, enabling them to stay informed of their patient’s health status despite home quarantine measures and decreased in-person care. The only problem? Musculoskeletal and respiratory providers and services did not qualify for these codes.

RPM services are only for physicians and certain non-physician practitioners (e.g. physician assistants, nurse practitioners), and are intended to monitor a patient’s physiologic parameters such as weight, blood pressure, pulse oximetry or respiratory flow rate. RPM is typically used to monitor chronic conditions such as hypertension, diabetes, and heart disease.

In 2022, a new family of CPT® codes – created by the American Medical Association’s CPT Editorial Panel – were introduced for Remote Therapeutic Monitoring (RTM).

RTM services focus on musculoskeletal and respiratory systems, therapy adherence and therapy response, and represents the review and monitoring of data related to signs, symptoms and functions of a therapeutic response. Importantly, RTM expands the types of providers allowed to bill these codes to include physical therapists and occupational therapists.

Timeline of Events for RPM and RTM

2019: New Remote Physiologic Monitoring (RPM) CPT codes became effective and Medicare coverage and payment began. 

Early 2020: A gap in care recognized for MSK and Respiratory patients

Late 2020: New RTM codes were approved by the American Medical Association’s CPT Editorial Panel 

The team at Limber Health helped pioneer the creation of these RTM CPT codes!

2021: RTM codes were valued by the AMA RUC committee and the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) approved them for coverage and payment in the final 2022 Medicare Physician Payment Regulation

2022: RTM codes go-live for MSK and Respiratory patients

Comparing RPM and RTM

The Bottom Line

Despite similarities between the RPM and RTM CPT codes, there are some key differences. Both services enable providers to stay informed of their patient’s health status between in-clinic visits, however, the who, what, and how of the service lines differ tremendously. 

Limber is here to help you better understand Remote Therapeutic Monitoring, and ensure your practice abides by the legal requirements, rules, and regulations of the codes. We encourage you to Request a demo of Limber Health's turnkey, full-service RTM platform for your practice.

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