Virtual Speech Therapy is a Proven Tool to Address Social Determinants of Health (SDOH), Improve Quality of Life

Virtual Speech Therapy is a Proven Tool to Address Social Determinants of Health (SDOH), Improve Quality of Life

As successful healthcare delivery shifts away from the long-time volume-based delivery model, wellness is a powerful tool demanded to control costs. A core group of socioeconomic factors are responsible for 40% of a patient’s health. Treating SDOH helps people overcome adversity that degrades their wellness. 

Virtual speech therapy addresses three SDOH indicators

  • Patient education
  • Social/community context
  • Economic stability. 

Consider this startling statistic: more people in the U.S. suffer from speech disorders (46 million) than diabetes (37.3 million). Just as education and treatment improve diabetes, speech therapy lessens the SDOH impact on communication disorders.

Links Between Speech Therapy and Reduction in SDOH Costs

Recent studies indicate that speech therapy is a vital wellness and preventative service to mitigate SDOH factors and support value-based care outcomes.  

A 2017 Penn Medicine study concluded that the $40-80,000 annual cost per year in intensive early intervention for one in 68 U.S. children with autism spectrum disorder was fully offset after only two years of therapy. The savings came from a reduction in other services for such kids. The study found that the tested curriculum was equally effective when administered in a child’s home, including speech therapy for autistic children.

Another study documented a positive 1.46:1 benefit-cost ratio ROI for its treatment programs for children with autism. The same stat for patients with Aphasia (stroke) is 5:1 and 6:1 for speech impairment, with much of the savings achieved through reduced SDOH-related costs. 

The Advantages of Virtual Speech Therapy

Some people with communication disorders struggle with their health and outcomes due to SDOH factors. For example, one in six Americans have or will have a communication disorder. The lack of ability to communicate can lead to depression, social isolation, and under/unemployment. Additionally, patients stressed by SDOH often quit speech therapy because of the high out-of-pocket costs.

But virtual speech therapy helps remedy these SDOH challenges: 

  • Many patients diagnosed with speech disorders prefer to receive therapy in their home. For example, some patients with facial paralysis due to stroke or kids with autism may feel more comfortable interacting with a therapist on a computer screen than face-to-face in a brick-and-mortar outpatient treatment center.
  • Some patients report faster progress with a combination of synchronous live 1:1 sessions with a therapist, as well as asynchronous access to a unique practice portal where children can complete “homework” assignments and activities that help extend the value of their live sessions and further accelerate their progress. Great Speech has found that patients complete their therapy plan in fewer sessions than in traditional outpatient speech therapy programs. 
  • Patients (and parents) save time and money with virtual speech therapy – no need to fuel up your vehicle, get stuck in traffic, search for parking, or constantly check  the weather report if it is going to rain or snow.

We are proud to work with numerous insurance plans to offer virtual speech therapy:  

These partnerships allow Great Speech to reach an ever-growing list of patients nationwide in need of virtual speech therapy services.  For more information on the benefits of virtual speech therapy, visit Great Speech or Schedule Your Introductory Call today.