You can have the most innovative medical treatment in the world, but if physicians can’t get paid for it, they won’t use it. The U.S. health care system relies on Current Procedural Terminology (CPT) codes to report, measure, analyze, and bill medical and related services. The AMA updates the CPT code set each year to stay current with technology advancements and to represent the latest knowledge of effective care practices.
The good news for those interested in telehealth and remote patient monitoring, the American Medical Association (AMA) has validated digital health and medical tech development for home use with the release of the 2020 CPT code set.
In a statement announcing the release of the new codes, AMA President Patrice A. Harris said, “With the advance of new technologies for e-visits and health monitoring, many patients are realizing the best access point for physician care is once again their home. The new CPT codes will promote the integration of these home-based services that can be a significant part of a digital solution for expanding access to health care, preventing and managing chronic disease, and overcoming geographic and socioeconomic barriers to care.”
The AMA announcement specifically mentioned home blood pressure (BP) monitoring. Referring to home-based BP monitoring that aligns with current clinical practice, the AMA intends to support physicians with a code set that represents the various forms of care physicians actually utilize.
The AMA’s validation of home-based digital products did not happen by chance nor is it a wholesale stamp that approves everything promoted as contributing to healthcare. Increases in clinical-grade measurement and monitoring technologies, joint efforts by recognized major medical suppliers and research entities, and peer-reviewed research and studies all contribute to helping the AMA take a positive position on home-based digital technologies.