Lake Oconee Primary and Urgent Care provides primary and urgent care in central Georgia. Located between Atlanta and Augusta, many of their patients live in more rural communities where traveling to a clinic can be a barrier to accessing care. Remote patient monitoring (RPM) has enabled Lake Oconee to provide care for all their patients, including those in rural areas, on a more consistent basis.
Continuous Care Between Office Visits
Lake Oconee treats patients with multiple chronic conditions, including hypertension, diabetes, and chronic heart failure. Most of their chronic patients have routine office visits every 3-6 months. With data limited to just a few in-person visits, it was difficult for them to adjust a patient’s medication or care plan. They decided to launch an RPM program to provide care to patients between visits.
With all three ordering providers and a dedicated RPM lead appointed, Lake Oconee evaluated multiple RPM solutions. They chose Optimize Health because of the flexibility the Optimize system provided. Tori McDerment, the RPM Lead is amazed at how technology has allowed them to take care of patients outside of regular office visits.
Tori says, “Our top priority was to make sure the RPM program conformed to our needs, rather than us having to conform to the RPM program. Optimize Health’s platform is very flexible, and I absolutely love their customer service.”
RPM Improves Outcomes and Engages Patient
The team alignment and dedicated resources to RPM are driving incredible results at Lake Oconee. Tori is committed to being a patient advocate and really invests the time needed to develop ongoing relationships with her patients.
- 130 patients monitored
- Conditions monitored: hypertension, congestive heart failure, and diabetes scales
- Patients take an average of 16 days of readings per month
- 94% of patients meet requirements to bill CPT® Code 99457 (20 minutes of care team member time and one live, synchronous call per month)
RPM has enabled Lake Oconee’s patients to take better control of their own health. Patients like knowing that Tori is there to support them and hold them accountable. Their patients feel comfortable and cared for because Tori calls them on a regular basis and this helps them to stay engaged with the program.
Tori has been thrilled with their outcomes and says, “The biggest and most exhilarating surprise was seeing how well RPM really works in helping our patients control their chronic conditions. They are really excited to see that their blood pressure readings are better or their blood sugar is lower.” Tori has also started an incentive program, where patients are entered into a raffle for a small prize when they reach their 16th reading that month. “Incentives are a great idea and they work,” she says.
Planning for RPM Growth
With leadership, staff, and patients all seeing the tremendous benefits of RPM, Lake Oconee’s plan for the future is to grow, grow, and grow some more. While RPM can help all patients, Lake Oconee sees really strong potential for improving outcomes of the patients they treat in the surrounding rural areas. It’s often difficult for these patients to travel for frequent in-office visits.
The patient feedback from RPM has been extremely positive and Lake Oconee wants to bring the RPM opportunity to as many patients as possible. As Tori explains, “Patients now have a sense of pride knowing they are taking control of their health, and that’s what’s been most rewarding: giving people control of their own health by empowering them with the right tools and education.”
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