March 17, 2020
The Honorable Governor J.B. Pritzker
State Capitol, Room 207
Springfield, Illinois 62706
Dear Governor Pritzker:
The Illinois Academy of Physician Assistants, representing more than 3,000 PAs in the State of Illinois, strongly urges you to issue an executive order authorizing telemedicine across Illinois. Because of the Coronavirus outbreak, many physicians, advanced practice registered nurses (APRNs) and PAs are unable to provide in-person medical care for patients.
The Illinois Academy of PAs suggests the Governor’s executive order mirrors Senate Bill 27 from 2019, sponsored by Senator Andy Manar. This bill was drafted by Southern Illinois University’s doctors and medical experts. This bill would authorize parity payments for telemedicine services rendered during this crisis, with complete elimination of originating site requirements. Office care can and will be provided still, but only for those patients who need it and for whom virtual/remote care is not otherwise appropriate.
Illinois has an opportunity to stake their claim to a very progressive response to this crisis by using telemedicine. Governor, you can stand apart from others in activating this hugely powerful clinical care channel for all patients – both public and private payers.
If the reimbursement is not there, doctors will have no alternative but to continue having their patients come to the office. Patients – including those who are infected – will be congregating in the waiting rooms and posing a threat to the most vulnerable of us. It is imperative that this most important issue be addressed immediately.
Elizabeth Kate Sweitzer