The Missouri Department of Mental Health, Division of Developmental Disabilities launched a partnership with StationMD to ensure that all 15,000 Missouri residents with disabilities who are on a Medicaid Waiver have 24/7 access to a doctor anytime they need it.
After nine months of successful utilization of StationMD’s specialized telehealth service across the state, the Division has awarded a new request for proposal to StationMD, extending the program through February 2022.
StationMD is a physician practice that uses telemedicine to deliver urgent/emergency clinical care diversion and coordination care services exclusively to people with disabilities—including intellectual and/or developmental disabilities (IDD). As one of the only physician practices in the country where every doctor in the group is specially trained to manage care specifically for people with disabilities, StationMD provides a unique offering.
According to an alarming study just released by the New England Journal of Medicine, having an intellectual disability is one of the highest risk factors other than age for COVID-19 mortality. The chances of dying from COVID-19 are higher for those with an intellectual disability than they are for people with congestive heart failure, kidney disease, or lung disease, so the impact of the state’s collaboration with StationMD extends beyond convenience. The service has been a life-saving measure for both individuals and support staff.
Venturing out to the doctor’s office or hospital for non-life-threatening medical concerns is challenging for many people with disabilities on a regular day. Given the pandemic, masking requirements, and mandatory quarantine periods, people with disabilities are often forced to forego their medical care altogether. Bringing the doctor upstream and keeping individuals in their home setting, protects the patient and the ecosystem of support professionals and family members who may be involved with their care.
StationMD can be utilized for urgent matters like fever and vomiting, a seizure, a rash, or a fall, but also for someone who has a medical question or needs a prescription refilled. StationMD doctors can also help with behavioral and mental health issues in many circumstances. In ~90% of StationMD’s virtual consultations, the doctor can address an individual’s medical issue without them ever leaving the comfort and safety of home.
Valerie Huhn, Division Director, and Department Deputy Director said, “Keeping people out of the ER when they don’t need to be there not only relieves pressure off of hospitals that are stretched thin treating both regular emergencies and COVID patients, but it offers huge savings to patients and to the state. We have been able to optimize taxpayer dollars and the result is that Missourians with IDD are receiving the medical attention they need from their homes.”
Dr. Maulik Trivedi, MD, Chief Strategy Officer at StationMD said, “This partnership with the Division has enabled the health system to flex to be more patient-centric and to meet the needs of people in both rural and urban areas who have unique challenges and require specialized medical care. The Division is truly visionary in its pandemic response and has implemented a solution that not only protects this vulnerable population from COVID-19 but eases the burden on Missouri’s entire health system.”
All 15,000 of Missouri’s Medicaid Waiver recipients are already enrolled to use StationMD’s service. Once the system is activated with a phone call, they can reach a StationMD doctor anytime they need to through the app or a designated 800 phone number. If StationMD determines any patient physically needs to see a doctor, they coordinate with local emergency departments to prepare for their arrival and coordinate with the patient’s primary care physician to ensure continuity of care.