On May 30, 2021, Illinois lawmakers passed Bill 3308 (“HB3308“or the”Billâ) Aimed at expanding the use of telehealth services in the state. The bill would increase access and coverage to telehealth by establishing parity of payment for behavioral health and addiction services and by creating an expert panel to study parity of payment for all telehealth services.
HB3308 will incorporate and make permanent many of the temporary emergency measures taken during the public health emergency (the “Pandemic“). Once signed by Governor Jay Pritzker, the bill will, among other things, provide residents of Illinois with better access to telehealth services by limiting patient cost sharing, expanding the use of remote monitoring , asynchronous telehealth and audio-only telehealth services, and expanding the list of providers authorized to use telehealth to include addiction professionals and those who provide early intervention to children. Additionally, HB3308 will enable access to innovative telehealth services, reduce barriers to access and improve patient outcomes.
Like many other telehealth bills, there has been some controversy regarding parity for in-person services and telehealth visits. HB3308 addresses this problem by offering limited parity, for people in need of mental health treatment and with substance abuse issues. As noted in our previous blog posts in our âState of Telehealthâ series, telehealth services provide better access to those in need of medical services. By creating parity for telehealth services, HB3308 encourages the use of virtual care technologies to help providers reach more people where they are, rather than requiring them to go to an office. Sen. Dan McConchie praised the bill for addressing the “lack of accessibility” of telehealth services, adding that the bill allows more residents in all parts of the state to access telehealth services. health services from anywhere.
The bill also provides for the creation of a working group of 14 members to study the parity of telehealth payments. The task force would be tasked with “reviewing existing plans and policies issued, provided and offered in this state with respect to coverage and reimbursement for telehealth services, relevant pay parity data for telehealth services. and pay parity laws in other states and provide recommendations on the economic feasibility and cost-effectiveness of requiring pay parity for health services provided through telehealth, including recommendations for possible legislation. The task force is expected to deliver its recommendations to the governor and general assembly by the end of 2021 and be disbanded in early 2023.
We will continue to update this article as more information regarding the permanence of telehealth services becomes available.
Copyright Â© 2021, Sheppard Mullin Richter & Hampton LLP.Revue nationale de droit, volume XI, number 159