Lieutenant governor tours Perry Memorial Hospital
PRINCETON — Lt. Gov. Evelyn Sanguinetti toured Perry Memorial Hospital on Tuesday and talked to health professionals about telemedicine opportunities to expand access to health care.
Telemedicine provides remote diagnosis and treatment of patients through means of telecommunications technology.
On May 9, Sanguinetti, along with Felicia Norwood, director of the Illinois Department of Healthcare & Family Services, announced the formation of a new state task force to develop a comprehensive telemedicine strategy for the Medicaid program to help improve access to health care for Illinois residents in rural areas.
Since its inaugural meeting, the Illinois Medicaid Telemedicine Task Force has been identifying ways to expand the use of telemedicine in Illinois to assist the state in its goal of integrating physical and behavioral health services.
The 18-member task force is comprised of health professionals and advocates from all areas of Illinois.
“Unfortunately, too many residents of our state go without needed access to health services because of where they live,” Sanguinetti said.
“The good news is that the use of telemedicine and other forms of virtual care, such as remote monitoring, online care, direct-to-consumer care, and the use of self-management apps is increasing rapidly in Illinois as the need to solve health care disparities increases. It is our goal to expand telemedicine to deliver better care at a lower cost throughout Illinois.”
Doug O’Brien, regional director of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, toured Perry Memorial Hospital last month with President and CEO Annette Schnabel, and she explained to him how telemedicine has been especially helpful in dealing with patients of drug addiction. Those patients are able to be connected to needed treatment more quickly through means of technology.