Coalition To Protect Telehealth White Paper: Telehealth Addresses Health Equity
Tuesday, May 4, 2021
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A new white paper from the Coalition to Protect Telehealth highlights the impact of access to telehealth services on underserved communities across Illinois, underscoring the importance of passing House Bill 3498 in the Senate. Illinois Telehealth Impact: Prioritizing Healthcare Equity, Access & Quality is the collective effort of the 35 organizations that comprise the Coalition to Protect Telehealth.
The white paper emphasizes that telehealth coverage must not be limited to a segment of services or available only to those who can afford the full cost of telehealth services. During the pandemic, telehealth helped advance health equity by providing more options for healthcare appointments, including phone calls and video visits. According to the white paper, telehealth also creates greater access to healthcare professionals who share a patient’s racial, ethnic or linguistic background.
Seven in 10 Illinois family physicians responding to a recent survey identified telehealth services as helpful specifically for their patients from underserved areas. In a broader survey of Illinois physicians, over half said telehealth is an important tool to expand access to care for patients from underserved areas.