October 20, 2023
As a physical therapist, it’s essential to stay updated with the latest advancements and billing
opportunities in the field. One such advancement is the introduction of Remote Therapeutic Monitoring
(RTM) codes. This guide will delve deep into what RTM is, why you should consider using RTM codes,
and how to effectively incorporate them into your practice.
What is Remote Therapeutic Monitoring?
Remote Therapeutic Monitoring (RTM) codes were introduced to facilitate billing when monitoring non-
physiologic data related to the musculoskeletal or respiratory system using a medical device. These
codes cover the monitoring of patient adherence and response to therapy, including home exercise
program (HEP) compliance. In simpler terms, RTM allows you to get compensated for communicating
with, monitoring, and adjusting care plans for your remote patients, irrespective of your or their
It's worth noting the difference between RTM and Remote Patient Monitoring (RPM) codes. While RPM
codes are evaluation codes billed by physicians or qualified healthcare providers, RTM codes enable
patients to self-report data or automatically upload information from medical devices. They can also be
used to describe treatment scenarios for a broader range of providers, including physical therapists,
occupational therapists, and speech-language pathologists.
Why Should You Use RTM Codes?
Elevate Patient Outcomes in Less Time: RTM can enhance the quality and efficiency of care. It addresses
the long-standing challenge of patient adherence, offering a new avenue to help patients stick with their
home treatment. RTM codes also encompass phone and chat communication between PTs and patients,
ensuring patients remain engaged and invested in their therapy.
Collect More Accurate Patient Information: With remote monitoring devices and therapy via practice
management software, patients can share real-time data about their responses to various situations.
This allows PTs to bill for time spent monitoring and analyzing data, communicating with patients, and
adjusting care plans. It also enables better virtual care by providing access to patient data that wouldn’t
typically be available for remote patients.
Accessibility and Enhanced At-Home Care: RTM is a boon for patients who face challenges in visiting
clinics due to mobility issues, transportation constraints, or other health concerns. It offers a new way to
deliver care remotely, ensuring their well-being even if they can’;t physically visit your clinic. Additionally,
RTM offers flexibility in supporting remote patients, even when you’re not in the office.
Grow Your Clinic’s Revenue: RTM codes not only improve patient engagement and outcomes but also
present an opportunity for PTs to boost their revenue. They can now get compensated for tasks they
previously did without reimbursement, such as data collection, patient training on remote monitoring
devices, outcome monitoring, and patient engagement. In fact, PT practices utilizing RTM code billing
can generate significant annual profits.
How to Use RTM Codes in Your Practice
Using RTM codes requires adherence to specific compliance and billing standards. It’s crucial to submit
documentation that supports your clinical decisions to offer these resources to patients. Your practice
management software should facilitate RTM billing with features like 24/7 patient portal access, custom
home exercise programs with compliance tracking, health trackers, activity logs, and HIPAA-compliant
In 2022, CMS approved five new RTM CPT codes: 98971, 98976, 98977, 98980, and 98981. Each code
has its specific description and billing frequency. For instance, code 98977 involves devices with
scheduled recordings/alerts to monitor musculoskeletal systems, while code 98980 pertains to
interactive communication with the patient for the first 20 minutes in a calendar month.
Remote Therapeutic Monitoring offers a promising avenue for physical therapists to enhance patient
care and boost their revenue. By understanding and effectively implementing RTM codes, PTs can stay
ahead in the ever-evolving landscape of physical therapy.