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I copy news articles pertaining to research, news and information for Parkinson's disease, Dementia, the Brain, Depression and Parkinson's with Dystonia. I also post about Fundraising for Parkinson's disease and events. I try to be up-to-date as possible. I have Parkinson's
diseases as well and thought it would be nice to have a place where
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Monday, May 29, 2017

Telemedicine program brings doctors into your home for free

May 29, 2017 

To watch Video go to:
http://www.whec.com/news/telemedicine-program-brings-doctors-home-free/4498602/




Doctors know that it is often difficult for patients to physically get to a doctor and when a specialists are located two or three hours away, many sick people will put off even traveling to see one.

There is now a program called Parkinson's Disease Care New York that is offering free telemedicine visits for at least one year. This is to offer patients a chance to be seen by a neurologist -- a doctor who is best trained to treat this disease.

The lead neurologist at University of Rochester Medical Center, Dr. Ray Dorsey, is hoping to sign up at least 400 more patients in New York State by summer.

There are about a million people in the United States with Parkinson's Disease. Most are over age 60 with a disorder that kills brain cells and causes cognitive impairment, tremors, and imbalance. Even getting to a doctor's office can be tough says Dr. Ray Dorsey.
"Just getting into a car, driving to the doctor, getting out of a car and walking to a medical center in the middle of winter in Rochester is really difficult!"
Dr. Dorsey thinks telemedicine will relieve many Parkinson's patient of the anxiety surrounding doctor’s visits and give them access to more specialists. The patients stay right in their home and talk via a webcam and discuss their symptoms with a neurologist. Rebecca Leclair's brother Greg was one of the first to sign up for PDCNY's program.
Dr. Dorsey sits in his office and gives Greg a check-up. "Can you put your hands out here like this please? And like this? And tap your thumb and first finger as fast as you can."
Dr. Dorsey says 40 percent of Parkinson's patients on Medicare do not have a neurologist. "And those that don't are more likely to facture a hip, more likely to be placed in a skilled nursing facility, and more likely to die," he says.
Dr. Dorsey can't do procedures via telemedicine, but can diagnose, prescribe and give advice. Here's what he said to Rebecca's brother: "You know the single best thing you can do for your Parkinson's disease is exercise?" Greg nodded in agreement.
There are other bonuses for patients enrolled. Bernadette says, "The doctor gets to see me in my environment -- walking, tripping over my dogs, tripping over dog toys! It's not an artificial place like an office."
Collins says, "We live two hours away and it's real convenient to schedule around this, instead of driving two hours up and back -- four hours just to see a doctor."
Right now, the program is free thanks to a grant from the Greater Rochester Health Foundation. However, it will take political pressure to force the federal government to reimburse doctors for telemedicine visits.
Dr. Dorsey hopes local representatives will realize the re-imbursement program is backwards. "Medicare gives about $150 if someone comes sees me in a hospital based clinic -- about $80 if I see them in a community-based clinic and zero dollars if I see them in their home."
But home is what is easiest for Parkinson's patients. Plus, consider this, telemedicine visits save time for doctors as well. There are only nine neurologists within the URMC system, just three neurologists tied to the University of Buffalo and only one Parkinson's specialist in the Syracuse area.
Telemedicine could really make a difference in terms of access for hundreds of patients living in Central and Western New York.
There is legislation in front of Congress right now and Dr. Dorsey wants you to call you representatives to push for more telemedicine reimbursement.
If you want to sign up for the program, there is a Facebook page. Even if you don't have a computer, you can get hooked up. The phone number is 844-777-3269.
http://www.whec.com/news/telemedicine-program-brings-doctors-home-free/4498602/

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