Telehealth availability is insured with signing of new bill

State News

Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker responds to a question after announcing that three more people have died in the state from from Covid-19 virus, two Illinois residents and one woman visiting from Florida, during a news conference Thursday, March 19, 2020, in Chicago. (AP Photo/Charles Rex Arbogast)

CHICAGO, Ill. (WMBD) — An Illinois house bill signed on Thursday increased the availability of telehealth options.

House Bill 3308 allows patients access to telehealth without first requiring them to attend in-person appointments and without providing a reason. Additionally, the bill forces insurers to reimburse health care providers for telehealth at the same rate as in-person care.

Telehealth is the access to long-distance health care, including performing appointments online or utilizing online check-ins.

The bill continues Gov. J.B. Pritzker’s track record of supporting telehealth and telemedicine. In March 2020, Pritzker signed Executive Order 2020-09, which expanded access to telehealth at a time when in-person care became a risk to vulnerable populations.

According to a report from the governor’s office, telehealth access has already saved lives, reduced missed appointments, and improved chronic disease management. 

“We are taking great strides to make sure that where you live no longer impacts how long you live,” Pritzker said. “Thanks to this new law, we are one step closer to that reality today.”

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