Furthering the advances made in providing telehealth services during the COVID-19 pandemic, legislation sponsored by State Representative Mazzochi (R-Elmhurst), will enshrine and further advance those services to Illinoisans. The bill unanimously passed both legislative chambers over Memorial Day Weekend.
“Our state should support innovation and efficiencies that increase affordability in healthcare whenever we can,” Rep. Mazzochi said. “Telehealth has helped generate better patient outcomes in critical areas, especially for chronic conditions, behavioral health management, and long term care plans that require numerous doctor visits.”
Advocates of the legislation have argued that telehealth has helped drive a reduction of missed appointments, demonstrated increased care plan adherence, and improved chronic disease management. Telehealth has further decreased barriers to access that arise from transportation, lost income, missed work and school, or the stigma of seeking help.
House Bill 3308 bars insurers from requiring patients to prove a hardship or access barrier in order to receive reimbursement for telehealth services; protects patient privacy; regulates insurance applications to telehealth services; and keeps costs in line with, or lower than, in-person visits.
“There has been a significant increase in interest in receiving telehealth services, not only because of the pandemic, but because of the care management benefits and convenience,” Rep. Mazzochi continued. “This bill will make sure Illinois law is keeping up with that demand and protecting patients’ access to the health care services they need.”