Speech Therapy Telepractice for Vocal Cord Dysfunction (VCD): MaineCare (Medicaid) Cost Savings

Michael P. Towey, Waldo County Gener al Hospital, Voice & Swallowing Center of Maine, Belfast, Maine.


This Brief Communication represents an analysis of the cost savings to MaineCare (also referred to as Medicaid) directly attributable to service provided via speech therapy telepractice. Seven female (primarily adolescent) MaineCare patients consecutively referred to Waldo County General Hospital (WCGH) with suspected diagnosis of Vocal Cord Dysfunction (VCD) were treated by speech therapy telepractice. Outcome data demonstrated a first month cost savings of $2376.72. The analysis additionally projected thousands of dollars of potential savings each month in reduced medical costs for this patient group as a result of successful treatment via speech therapy telepractice. The study suggests that without access to speech therapy telepractice for patients with VCD, the medical costs to MaineCare will be ongoing and significant.