Teleneurology Overcomes Health Disparities and Improves Accessibility in MS: Marisa McGinley, DO


The staff neurologist at the Mellen Center for MS Treatment and Research at Cleveland Clinic, spoke about her presentation on teleneurology being a beneficial healthcare tool for patients with MS at ECTRIMS 2022. [WATCH TIME: 7 minutes]

WATCH TIME: 7 minutes

“I think the main thing is that when we think about teleneurology, we think about its potential to improve access to care and, with that, the potential to maybe serve communities that have been historically underserved.”

Since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, the use of teleneurology has increased and expanded to maintain patient access to healthcare. In the multiple sclerosis (MS) patient population, disparities in telehealth have not been reported as much as other conditions, making it an important area for research. At the 2022 European Committee for Treatment and Research in Multiple Sclerosis (ECTRIMS) Congress, from October 26-28, in Amsterdam, Netherlands, Marisa McGinley, DO, and colleagues presented a poster on the utilization of teleneurology at the Cleveland Clinic MS center on age, race, geographic factors, and insurance categories to identify any potential disparities during the utilization.1

McGinley, staff neurologist, Mellen Center for Multiple Sclerosis Treatment and Research, Cleveland Clinic, and colleagues recruited patients with MS (patients, n = 892; visits, n = 3710), compared fully in-person care with more than or less than 50% of teleneurology care. Findings showed that, from 2019 to 2021, 37% patients were fully in-person for care, whereas 37.2% had less than 50% of teleneurology care and 25.8% of patients had more than 50% of telemedicine care across the 24-month time frame.

In a recent interview with NeurologyLive®, McGinley discussed her presentation from 2022 ECTRIMS on using teleneurology to overcome health disparities in care. She also mentioned using telemedicine as a platform to supplement and improve care, and what some of the downsides are that come with it.

1. McGinley M, Bena J, Buchalter R. B, Bermel R, Cohen J, Ontaneda D. Teleneurology as a tool to overcome disparities for access to multiple sclerosis care. Presented at: 2022 ECTRIMS Congress; October 26-28; Amsterdam, Netherlands. Poster 124
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