New Ohio telemedicine program for those with disabilities

Telehealth(MGN Online / CC BY 2.0 / Pixabay)
Published: May. 4, 2022 at 7:11 PM EDT
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COLUMBUS, Ohio (WTVG) - The Ohio Department of Developmental Disabilities launched a pilot with StationMD to provide 24/7 urgent telemedicine for up to 5,000 individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities (I/DD).

StationMD uses telemedicine to deliver urgent care and behavioral health services to people with I/DD, which includes those with autism spectrum disorder, cerebral palsy, down syndrome and other intellectual and developmental impairments.

In order to be eligible to be a participant, Ohioans with I/DD must actively receive services through the following:

  • The county board of developmental disabilities
  • Home-and community-based services (HCBS) waivers
  • An agency provider organization that is certified by DODD
  • Residents in an intermediate care facility (ICF)

People with I/DD often have complex medical and behavioral issues that require a doctor’s immediate attention. Before this pilot, those individuals had nowhere else to go except for the ER, according to StationMD.

“Through StationMD’s partnership with the Ohio DODD, we are elevating the quality of care people with I/DD receive in Ohio. Whether an individual lives in urban Cincinnati or in a more rural area of the state, they now have immediate access to a team of doctors who understand their medical needs, and they can reach us on-demand, 24/7,” said Dr. Maulik Trivedi, Cofounding Physician at StationMD.

“We’ve repeated this model across more than a dozen states and the outcome has been consistent: individuals with I/DD get the appropriate medical care they need without leaving home.”

In more than 90% of StationMD’s virtual consultations, the doctor can resolve an individual’s medical issue, eliminating the need for an ER visit, StationMD said. The DODD hopes the pilot will reduce the number of ER visits which can be traumatizing to individuals with I/DD, StationMD said.

StationMD does not replace an individual’s primary care physician. It is intended to improve access to medical care and make it easier to help with non-life-threatening matters before they escalate.

Once an individual is registered with StationMD they have access to a virtual, board-certified doctor. If the doctor decides the individual needs to see a doctor in person, they will contact local emergency services and the individual’s primary care physician to ensure a community of care.

The pilot will run until June 30, 2023, then it will be considered for expansion depending on its success.

Participant slots are limited. The application to enroll is available here.

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