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AFP Thanks Governor Pritzker for Expanding Health Care Access Amid COVID-19 Pandemic

Mar 20, 2020 by AFP

GENEVA, Illinois – Americans for Prosperity-Illinois (AFP-IL) thanked Governor Pritzker for removing regulatory barriers for health care providers that will increase access to care while protecting the larger community amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Governor relaxed telemedicine regulation for both Medicaid and private insurers, allowing more providers to get reimbursed for services that enable patients to be treated in their homes.

AFP-IL State Director Andrew Nelms had this to say about the Governor’s action:

“This pandemic is an unprecedented health and economic crisis. We thank Governor Pritzker for taking swift and targeted action to increase access for the sick, while protecting the broader community.”

AFP-IL has long supported expanding telemedicine access, as well as reforms that will increase access and lower health care costs for all Illinoisans.

Earlier this week, AFP released guidance for reforms to help states address the COVID-19 pandemic:

  • Lift regulations to allow health care providers to work in the states with greatest need, regardless of the state in which they are licensed. This will free medical professionals to fully provide the services they are trained to provide.
  • Expand access to digital tools and telehealth systems that can help reduce the burden on the health system, improve access to health care, and increase social distancing.
  • Eliminate government restrictions on the number of hospital beds, CT scanners, or other health services. Certificate of need mandates put unnecessary caps on these essential health care needs.
  • Make information about the virus and policymakers’ decisions on combatting it accessible to the public. The open flow of information will allow stakeholders to enact appropriate measures and citizens to make informed decisions to protect public health.

AFP-IL encourages Governor Pritzker to take a crucial next step and address Illinois Certificate of Need (CON) requirements. Current CON regulation restricts investment in critical medical services including the number of acute care hospital beds. It’s estimated the state of Illinois would have 87 more hospitals if current CON requirements were relaxed. We hope the Governor will address this issue so that health care providers can adequately meet Illinois health care needs during this crisis and in the future.