Q&A with Kyle Williams of MD Revolution: Remote monitoring to fit any practice

1 year ago

MD Revolution’s remote patient monitoring solution, delivered as part of its RevUp care management platform, combines device-agnostic data collection, clinical support and escalation and EHR integration with high-touch health coaching, patient assessments and other digital engagement tools. RevUp can be quickly deployed in any size practice, with custom program options available. With its included documentation processing and automated claims creation, this remote monitoring solution is designed to help practices take full advantage of RPM and CCM reimbursement.

Kyle Williams has served as CEO of MD Revolution since late 2019. During his tenure, MD Revolution has expanded to serve over 100 medical practices and health systems and in 2021, ranked #2,361 on the Inc. 5000 list of the fastest-growing companies in the U.S. Prior to MD Revolution, Williams worked in Merck’s corporate strategy office, where he oversaw enterprise-level strategic change programs. Williams also held positions with HumanGood, a senior living and health care provider, and MedAssets, a healthcare business intelligence software company. He holds an MBA from the McCombs School at the University of Texas at Austin, and a bachelor’s degree in biomedical engineering from Vanderbilt University.

Q: Can you tell us about your company and the challenges you are solving within the remote monitoring space?

A: What started in 2011 as a San Diego cardiology practice monitoring patient vitals has blossomed into a company that coordinates the daily remote monitoring of over 50,000 patients nationwide. Our experience with software design, along with integration with multiple electronic health record (EHR) vendors and multiple digital device vendors, enables MD Revolution to create solutions for a variety of remote monitoring challenges, all running simultaneously on our platform, RevUp. 

Our most successful solution to date is running Medicare reimbursed remote care management programs under the general supervision of physicians, which drives profits to practices and provides the benefits of ‘always on’ remote care plan adherence to patients. MD Revolution takes care of the heavy lifting of patient engagement, RPM device management and daily vitals review, and we escalate patient issues based on jointly developed protocols. RevUp integrates with EHR, so practice staff do not have to leave the EHR to enroll patients, check vitals or use other remote communications tools. RevUp also pushes claims back to the EHR, which makes claims submission simpler and more accurate. 

RevUp remote monitoring is also used for Medicaid waiver programs, transitional care management, annual wellness visits, Medicare Advantage patient monitoring and HRSA grant programs.

Q: How does your company differentiate from other remote monitoring vendors?

A: Our differentiation is based on six elements:

  • A clinician-facing platform that provides data-driven clinical tools for care plan development, care planning, patient monitoring and assessments. These tools enable a high degree of productivity for clinicians, which reduces cost to deliver remote care.
  • Patient-facing tech that connects patients to clinicians through web browsers, mobile apps, digital messaging and cellular connected monitoring devices. These tools keep patients engaged with their remote care clinicians.
  • Proactive automated care paths that plan patient interactions and ensure practices are connecting with patients who need a higher level of care.
  • EHR integrations that fit patient enrollment, care documentation and billing claims into existing workflows. Integrated patient devices provide real-time health data for patient support and monitoring.
  • Marketing and enrollment services to explain the programs to patients and to obtain their consent to participate.
  • Patient relationships–we personalize care for each patient and use our multi-channel communications to foster individualized relationships.

Q: What are some of the biggest changes your company has seen around how health systems are approaching remote monitoring since 2020?

A: With the expansion of Medicare reimbursement over the past few years, more health systems are expanding remote monitoring. In the past, many health systems were focused on inpatient monitoring with an extension to transitional care management to reduce readmissions. Today, health systems employ more physicians and have more outpatient clinics than ever, and they are beginning to connect the dots between episodic remote care and the benefits of ongoing chronic disease management and preventative care.

We are also witnessing a greater willingness for physicians and health system leaders to embrace a trusted care management partner to run programs on their behalf. Before the COVID-19 pandemic, many health systems wanted to rely on their own staff to provide remote monitoring services. Now, between the nursing shortage and our proven ability to scale up thousands of patients for a health system in a few weeks, we see heightened demand for MD Revolution’s care management staff. We tailor our escalation protocols around our clients’ preferences and staff, which allows them to focus on patients with immediate medical needs.

Q: What does an ideal client look like? How are health systems best organized for success in remote monitoring?

A: For MD Revolution, our ideal clients:

  • Serve a large Medicare population, which allows us to develop profitable remote monitoring programs.
  • Commit to a remote care model. Leadership has the willingness to align providers, front office staff and revenue cycle managers to remote care. They also communicate the program’s value to their patients.
  • Focus on outcomes. They execute on patient escalations, share claims data and support cohort analysis.
  • Clear roadblocks as required with their EHR vendors and internal IT departments.

Q: What measurable outcomes have you seen from your clients who have prioritized remote monitoring?

A: The first group involved 225 patients who were at increased risk for developing a chronic disease. Changes in their weight, cardiorespiratory fitness (CRF) and visceral fat, the fat that surrounds internal organs, were assessed after four months. Enrolled patients lost an average of four pounds of weight, two pounds of visceral fat, and increased their CRF by 12 percent. In addition, nearly 70percent of pre-hypertensive and hypertensive patients reduced their systolic blood pressure, while a similar proportion of pre-diabetic and diabetic patients reduced their Hemoglobin A1c levels. Across the entire group, we saw an average reduction of 15 mmHg among pre-hypertensive and hypertensive patients and an average drop of 1.7 percentage points hemoglobin A1C. Such results are clinically significant, with an effect equivalent to an oral medication. Importantly, many individuals who participated in the program for more than nine months sustained these improvements. 

In another patient cohort, we observed an average reduction of 22 mg/dL in blood glucose levels among patients whose initial blood glucose measurements were consistent with uncontrolled diabetes (>140 mg/dL). Similarly, patients who presented initial blood pressure measurements consistent with hypertension decreased their systolic blood pressure by an average of 7 mmHg (p<0.001). These results constitute substantial health improvements with clear clinical value: Nearly half of the patients with high blood glucose, and almost a third of hypertensive patients reduced their levels to within the normal range in less than two months.

Q: What major functional enhancements and/or product investments are you making in the near term to keep up with the evolution of remote monitoring?

A: MD Revolution’s product roadmap supports the expansion of customers and use cases in the following ways:

  • Integration of new peripheral devices. Customers are continually asking for a variety of devices, and their data streams, to be integrated to our platform
  • EHR and population health systems integrations. Customers are continually asking for automated, bi-directional data feeds to a variety of different systems
  • Self-service program configuration. MD Revolution is experiencing an uptick in customers who want to design and execute their own programs, with customized workflows and user management
  • Machine learning. Using our big data sets to search for patterns, recommendations, and predictive analysis to improve patient engagement and outcomes

Q: How is your company partnering with clients as reimbursements and use cases shift?

A: RevUp combines all the necessary components to build workflows, connect to multiple devices and handle the device data, and to ensure all activities required for reimbursement are captured. For example, one client partnered with us for years for a chronic care management program. During a severe COVID-19 outbreak in their region, they approached us to ramp up a “COVID to Home” program for patients for which they had no inpatient capacity.  Within two weeks, we configured a workflow, complete with connected devices to monitor hundreds of patients at home.  Another client takes advantage of our full-service Medicare RPM/CCM program where we execute the remote care management tasks in RevUp, and they use the same RevUp instance to coordinate a remote monitoring program for recently discharged patients using their own staff.

Q: What are the biggest opportunities health systems should be thinking about this year when it comes to remote monitoring?

A: Whether they choose to use their own care management resources or ours, health systems should get their Medicare patients connected to remote monitoring and take advantage of the opportunity.  Leaders should understand that many patients want to share data and feel more in-control of their care when they participate in data collection and monitoring. Not only are these programs great for patient health, but they also improve provider-patient relationships and open an ongoing technology connection through mobile apps and monitoring devices.  These communication channels can be leveraged in a variety of ways as patients come in and out of various programs. Health systems should use the reimbursement structure that exists to build digital connections that can be applied to all patients, thereby creating an infrastructure for population health and value-based care.

Q: How do you see remote monitoring evolving in 2022 and beyond?

A: Remote monitoring is part of a broader trend of virtual-first care. How can providers increase the number of touchpoints with their patients without an office visit or inpatient episode? How can treatment protocols and medications be monitored and adjusted in real-time?  How can AI-based tools be implemented to detect and prevent serious medical conditions?  Remote monitoring technology and remote care providers can oversee and screen patients with numerous conditions remotely by means of virtual channels—telephone, email, video counsels, texting and data from digital devices and wearables. Ultimately, health systems will need a unifying platform to address each patient’s multiple conditions and liaise between different physician specialists to promote a better continuum of healthcare and cost control. Coupled with cheaper monitoring hardware and value-based payment models, remote monitoring platform technology can facilitate virtual-first care that can address many patient needs.

Reprinted from AVIAConnect.

AVIA Connect is the leading online resource for accurate, unbiased information about digital health companies and solutions. Our goal: To empower hospitals and health systems with the information they need to match with vendors who can meet their individual needs. We asked the top remote monitoring companies about their solutions and what they think the future of digital health looks like. No sponsored content or advertorials—just transparency and insights that decision-makers can use.