Policy Experts and Advocates Gather to Discuss How Telehealth Maximizes the Delivery of Health Care



Contact: Kristina Gawrgy Campbell; [email protected]; 202-638-4101 x113

Policy Experts and Advocates Gather to Discuss How Telehealth
Maximizes the Delivery of Health Care

Parkinson’s Action Network brings together panel of experts to discuss the policy hurdles to
expanding the use of telehealth

(WASHINGTON, May 6, 2014) – The Parkinson’s Action Network (PAN), a national nonprofit organization that advocates on behalf of the Parkinson’s disease community, gathers advocates, policy experts, and health providers today in Washington, DC to discuss implications of using telehealth for people with neurological disorders like Parkinson’s disease and the policy hurdles to making it available to more people.

Telehealth, also known as telemedicine, is the practice of using telecommunications to provide health care from a distance. Today’s event provides a discussion on the current applications of telehealth in the chronic neurology field, as well as on PAN’s efforts to remove the policy barriers currently restricting the use and expansion of telehealth services.

A 2011 study found that about 42 percent of people with Parkinson’s are not seeing a specialist, such as a neurologist or movement disorder specialist. The study also found that seeing a neurologist leads to better clinical outcomes and may lead to a longer life for these individuals. Telehealth has the potential to be an extremely useful tool in providing people with Parkinson’s greater access to specialists. The same is true for many other neurological or movement disorders.

Speakers at the telehealth event include Chris Czura, vice president of scientific affairs at the Feinstein Institute for Medical Research; former Senate Majority Leader Tom Daschle, senior policy advisor for DLA Piper, LLP; Krista Drobac, senior policy advisor at DLA Piper, LLP and executive director of the Alliance for Connected Care; Ray Dorsey, neurologist, telemedicine provider, and professor at the University of Rochester Medical Center; and Amy Comstock Rick, CEO of PAN.

Ms. Rick will lead a panel discussion featuring Ms. Drobac and Dr. Dorsey.

PAN supports two pieces of legislation that would lead to increased access to telehealth for people with Parkinson’s disease and other disorders. The Veterans E-Health & Telemedicine Support (VETS) Act of 2013 (H.R. 2001) would remove current state licensure barriers to the practice of telemedicine within the Veterans Administration, allowing veterans to receive health care in their home, regardless of location. The TELEmedicine for MEDicare (TELE-MED) Act of 2013 (H.R. 3077) would allow doctors to see Medicare patients in different states via telemedicine without having to go through the arduous and expensive process of obtaining multiple state licenses.

This event also follows a May 1 hearing by the U.S. House of Representatives Energy and Commerce Committee hearing on telehealth. PAN’s Delaware State Director Gary Chard testified about his experience using telehealth to manage his Parkinson’s disease. There is not a single movement disorder specialist currently practicing in Delaware.

For more information, visit http://www.parkinsonsaction.org/telemed or follow the conversation on Twitter using #telemed4pd.


PAN is the unified voice of the Parkinson’s community advocating for better treatments and a cure.  In partnership with other Parkinson’s organizations and our powerful grassroots network, PAN educates the public and government leaders on better policies for research and an improved quality of life for people living with Parkinson’s. PAN was founded in 1991 and is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization. To learn more, visit www.ParkinsonsAction.org.