Speech-language pathology services delivered via telepractice are now eligible for Medicaid reimbursement in Florida. The state recently approved Medicaid reimbursement for students with disabilities who receive remote services.
A July 22 Miami Herald article covers the benefits and potential pitfalls of speech-language telepractice. Writer Kathryn W. Foster interviewed Janet Brown, ASHA director of health care services in speech-language pathology:
“For the majority of things speech-language pathologists do, it’s a natural connection,” Brown says about telepractice. For a teenager working on language skills, Brown says working interactively on a computer is “much more acceptable to a kid who might feel self-conscious about seeing a speech therapist.”
More on telepractice from The ASHA Leader:
Some small-scale studies show telepractice working as well as in-person treatment. One of these studies is an ASHA-sponsored investigation of nearly 600 children done at the request of a rural school district in Oklahoma seeking to gain coverage approval.
Telepractice might not work in all cases, however, and the article goes on to share examples of situations in which it might not be effective. For example, according to Brown, “Let’s say the child…had behavior issues and wasn’t responsive to telepractice or the child did need a lot of hands-on manipulation of the mouth or lips or tongue in order to work on articulation.”