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Economic Benefits of Speech Telerehab for Patients With PD


October 05, 2020

Speech therapy delivered via telerehabilitation to patients with Parkinson disease at home is an economically beneficial alternative to in-person services, according to a cost analysis published online in the Journal of Telemedicine and Telecare. 

“Geographical barriers and impaired physical mobility among people with Parkinson disease hinder their timely access to speech pathology services,” researchers wrote. “We compared the costs of delivering a speech treatment via in-person consultation versus telerehabilitation.” 

The analysis focused on delivery of Lee Silverman Voice Treatment (LSVT LOUD) to three groups of patients: an urban in-person group (16 patients), an urban online group (15 patients), and a regional online group (21 patients). 

One month of telerehabilitation treatment, from a health-system perspective, cost slightly more than in-person treatment, results suggested. The average cost of telerehabilitation was $1076 for the urban online group and $1206 for the regional online group, compared with $1020 for the urban in-person group.  

From a patient perspective, however, the cost of telerehabilitation was much lower than in-person treatment. For one month of treatment, the average cost from the patient perspective was $831 for the urban in-person group, but just $247 for the urban online group and $200 for the regional group. 

“LSVT LOUD may be delivered via telerehabilitation at a slightly higher cost than in-person delivery from a health-system perspective, but it is cost saving from a patient perspective,” researchers concluded. “Telerehabilitation is an economically beneficial alternative for the delivery of the LSVT LOUD program in Parkinson’s disease patients with speech disorders.” 

Jolynn Tumolo 

Reference

Saiyed M, Hill AJ, Russell TG, Theodoros DG, Scuffham P. Cost analysis of home telerehabilitation for speech treatment in people with Parkinson's disease [published online ahead of print, 2020 Aug 26]. J Telemed Telecare. 2020;1357633X20948302. doi:10.1177/1357633X20948302

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