Robert E. Shapiro, MD, PhD: Takeaways From Migraine Telemedicine


The professor of neurology at the University of Vermont Larner College of Medicine detailed what lessons and highlights he’s learned from shifting his migraine care to a telemedicine-based model during the COVID-19 pandemic.

“I’m looking forward to getting this behind us—as we all are—and [the circumstances] allowing us to get back to seeing our patients.”

As a large majority of headache and migraine specialists, along with most of their patients, are forced inside, the primary care model for this population has shifted to delivery via telemedicine. While this has been accompanied by a number of adjustments, there have been some highlights to take away from the experience.

For Robert E. Shapiro, MD, PhD, professor of neurology, University of Vermont Larner College of Medicine, and founding president, Alliance for Headache Disorders Advocacy, one of those takeaways has been this “tectonic shift,” as he described it, in pushing telemedicine to the forefront of care—a change that Shapiro believes is here to stay in some form or another. As well, the easing of restrictions on access to certain therapies, such as oxygen therapy for patients with cluster headache, has been a positive, though it is not a change Shapiro is certain will stick around.

To find out more about this adjustment and what the clinical community can take away from this time at home, NeurologyLive spoke with Shapiro about his experience. He discussed the changes brought on by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) restriction lifts, and how this model of care will impact which migraine preventives are utilized.

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