In an extensive Q&A with Crain's Chicago Business, Carl Bergetz, general counsel for Rush University System for Health, and an adjunct professor at University of Illinois College of Law, discussed the need for reforming health law and policy in Illinois. An excerpt from the interview follows:
Q: In advocating for substantial reforms of health law and policy in Illinois, you say the state is out-of-step with the rest of the nation. How so?
A: In a variety of areas – such as telehealth and medical-malpractice law and policy – Illinois is in a minority of states that make it difficult for hospitals, doctors, and nurses to provide healthcare services in an affordable and accessible way – whether in times of normalcy or emergency.
Take telehealth for instance. Despite the fact that technology is increasingly making remote healthcare easier, as effective, and at times preferable to in-person doctor visits, Illinois’s laws and regulations regarding telehealth are far out of step with the rest of the nation. Illinois is one of only a handful of states that do not mandate insurers to cover or pay for telehealth visits – known as service parity.
With the structural changes, mergers, and closures in the post-COVID hospital sector, access will become increasingly critical. Moreover, patients like it. Surveys have shown that patients would rather conduct their provider visits remotely when they can – such as for many primary care visits and for initial examination purposes. Undoubtedly, telehealth is a huge part of the future of medicine. By not having uniform coverage requirements for such services, Illinois is actually disincentivizing this forward-looking practice.
Read the full article here.