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Question for Readers

Image courtesy anankkml @ http://www.freedigitalphoto.netI’ve lately been reading a lot about the concept of telepractice, or the idea of having patient and therapist in two completely different locations, communicating via a computer and other technologies.  This is something that has become quite popular in the medical profession, enabling a physician to consult with a specialist whom the patient may not be able to visit through more traditional means.

Recently, I’ve also seen a number of schools who are using this model for the provision of speech-language therapy to students.  Perhaps a student has a particular problem which requires the attention of a specialist, or is home-schooled.  And there is still a shortage of speech-language pathologists, with districts having to share services.

Audiologists also often provide services through the use of this model. The therapy company I currently work for is exploring the possibility of providing audiological services to residents of long-term care facilities in this way.  It should make for increased coverage, provided quicker and at a more reasonable rate, than having to have the audiologist travel to the facility just to see a couple of patients.

Now, to the best of my knowledge, while Medicare covers audiological services provided in this manner, it does not pay for speech-language services provided through telepractice.  This may well change in the future, as the issue comes under discussion.  I’m sure that there are many groups who are lobbying for such coverage even now.  I can see a great deal of advantage to this type of service, particularly when it comes to helping individuals with dementia stay at home longer.

So, here comes my question.  I’m looking for any of my readers who may also be interested in pursuing some form of telepractice for the treatment of cognitive disorders, among other impairments.  If there are any out there, please feel free to contact me through the Comments section of this blog, and I will get back to you.  This can range from an intellectual and theoretical discussion, to an actual development of ideas, and can include professionals as well as caretakers and persons with dementia.  I am aware of other forums that are engaging in this kind of interchange, and am curious to see what kind of interest is stimulated here.

Thank you.  I look forward to hearing from you.

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  1. April 9, 2014 at 1:44 AM

    It seems like telepractice could be a great benefit for those in rural areas, where healthcare options are often limited. It would also be more convenient for those with limited mobility.

  2. June 8, 2014 at 6:21 PM

    I’m definitely interested in exploring this with you! x

    • June 8, 2014 at 7:34 PM

      Thanks so much for your comment. Unfortunately, right now Medicare does not cover treatment via this model in the U.S., although I do know that various agencies are lobbying for a change here. In the next few days, I’ll try to get more information on this and post it here for discussion. If anyone else has any input here, please do chime in. I know that I still have a few loyal readers from other countries (for example, Kate in Australia), and I would be very interested to hear what is being done outside of the U.S.

      By the way, I want to congratulate Kate on her 1000th blog post! Very admirable. I encourage everyone reading this to check out her writings.

      • June 9, 2014 at 3:19 AM

        Yes, I don’t ocmment often, but I still read your fabulous blog very regularly. I don’t think anything like this is happening in Australia… but will do some investigating now! As you would expect… X

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