Gov. Rauner Signs Expansive Mental Healthcare Laws

Aug 22, 2018

Illinois Governor Bruce Rauner Wednesday signed a package of bills aimed at improving mental health throughout the state, especially in rural and underserved areas. 

It’s like facetiming your doctor… telemedicine allows patients to connect with mental and behavioral health specialists from a distance, and with this new legislation, Medicaid beneficiaries will now have access to these services.

State Representative Sue Scherer, a Democrat from Decatur, says she represents many rural areas in Illinois… and with this law, her constituents will have access to the healthcare they need.

“It’s just a wonderful thing to see, especially in mental health, that those who need this the most will no longer be deprived of what’s rightfully belonging to them.” 

Dr. Gurpreet Mander, the executive director of Illinois Telehealth Network, says telehealth provides timely services.

“The quality of care is not second to in person interactions. It’s high definition audio and visuals are protected. There’s a physician to patient interaction and all the studies have proven its efficiency and patients perceive it as no different than in-person interaction.”

Another measure signed strengthens enforcement and compliance with federal and state mental health parity laws… requiring mental health and addiction treatment to be covered by insurers at the same rate as physical medical conditions. Advocates say it’s the strongest parity law in the country.