Quality Focus

Home Blood Pressure Readings

Being able to take and record an accurate blood pressure in the medical record is an important part of managing a patient’s hypertension or diabetes. Due to the pandemic, insurance plans have approved the use of patient reported blood pressures, when appropriately documented in the patient’s chart. Documentation related to patient reported BPs should be clear regarding the device used, when the BP was taken and the manner in which the reading was conveyed to the provider. Please include the following information when documenting a patient reported blood pressure:

  1. What type of device did the patient use? Insurance plans will accept blood pressures taken using a digital monitoring device. The record must reflect the use of a digital BP monitor.
  2. When was the blood pressure reading taken? Acceptable BP readings may be taken during the telemedicine encounter or the same day as the encounter. This must be documented in the record.
  3. How was the BP reading communicated to the provider? Patient reported BP readings may be communicated to the provider verbally or visually. (Medicare will accept a visually reported reading only.) The provider should document in the patient’s record whether the BP reading was relayed verbally or visually.

A patient reported blood pressure may be taken by a physician, NP or PA during a telemedicine visit, or by an RN or MA during a phone call for a BP check, as long as the documentation of the blood pressure reading in the patient’s medical record follows the above guidelines. The insurance companies set the target for controlled blood pressure at </=139/89.