The medical director of the Comprehensive Stroke Center at Cleveland Clinic provided an in-depth look at the problems surrounding access to care, including those that limit the application of telemedicine.
“The telehealth revolution is here; the systems to support it are not.”
Although telemedicine and telestroke have improved the treatment options available to stroke neurologists and patients, many restrictions to its use still exist. While a stroke specialist may have plenty of experience with conducting evaluations and follow-up care via telemedicine, if they are not licensed in the specific state where a patient is located, their impact is significantly minimized.
Andrew Russman, DO, medical director of the Comprehensive Stroke Center at Cleveland Clinic, shared some of his frustrations with the legal restrictions that specialists face when treating patients through telemedicine. The current certification process is complicated, and may unnecessarily restrict qualified physicians from being able to provide clinical care for patients from a remote location.
In an interview with NeurologyLive, Russman detailed some of the licensing issues and the changes he hopes to see in the future so that access to care does not continue to fall far behind the pace of telemedicine technology.