What Is Telepractice?
According to the American Speech Language and Hearing Association (ASHA, which is the national association for licensed Speech Pathologists and Audiologists) Telepractice is the application of telecommunications technology to the delivery of speech language pathology and audiology professional services at a distance by linking clinician to client or clinician to clinician for assessment, intervention, and/or consultation.
ASHA adopted the term telepractice rather than the frequently used terms telemedicine or telehealth to avoid the misperception that these services are used only in health care settings. Other terms such as teleaudiology, telespeech, and speech teletherapy are also used by practitioners in addition to telepractice. Services delivered by audiologists and speech-language pathologists (SLPs) are included in the broader generic term telerehabilitation (American Telemedicine Association, 2010).
Use of telepractice must be equivalent to the quality of services provided in person and consistent with adherence to the Code of Ethics (ASHA, 2016a), Scope of Practice in Audiology (ASHA, 2004b), Scope of Practice in Speech-Language Pathology (ASHA, 2016b), state and federal laws (e.g., licensure, Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act [HIPAA; U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, n.d.-c]), and ASHA policy.
Why is DMS Offering Telepractice?
Dysphagia Management Systems is offering telepractice services by request of its patients who have difficulty coming back into the office, following evaluation, for follow up sessions that can be ethically administered via telecommunications.
Does My Insurance Cover Telepractice Sessions?
In the State of Florida, services delivered via Telepractice by a Speech Pathologist may or may not be covered. Check with your insurance company. However, due to the patient/family convenience and reduced cost of travel, this service is appreciated by our clientele.
What does it cost?
Due to the varying nature of diagnosis and necessity, the length of the telepractice session varies from patient to patient. Please speak with your DMS Speech Pathologist to assess what your needs are and what your specific costs will be. DMS is committed to working with every patient that needs these valuable services in order to assure that your costs can be managed.
Will I still need to come to the DMS Out Patient Clinic?
Telepractice services are limited to those that can ethically be performed via telecommunications. As such, you will need to have your initial assessments and diagnostics performed at the DMS Out Patient Clinic. At that time, telepractice will be discussed as an option for your follow up therapy sessions. You may need to come to the DMS office for discharge diagnostics at the end of your therapy intervention for your follow up instrumentations as needed.
What types of diagnosis are apporpirate for telepractice?
Telepractice is not defined by diagnostic type. Just as the therapy plan that has been developed for you is as unique as your needs are, your Speech Pathologist will discuss the options of telepractice and its appropriateness with you. The basis for determination is whether or not the encounter can be ethically productive to both the patient and the speech pathologist via telecommunications. Dysphagia Management Systems is offering this service as a convenience to its patients whose work or travel schedules make it difficult to come to the office.