Rural Health Bill Could Help Local Hospitals

The Rural Health Bill recently passed the House which aims at improving healthcare access and requires the Office of Medicaid Policy and Planning to reimburse healthcare providers for telehealth and telemedicine services offered to Medicaid recipients.

Telehealth and telemedicine services use telecommunications and information technology to provide remote access to health assessment, diagnosis, intervention, consultation, supervision and information. Using this technology reduces re-admissions to hospitals and saves lives as well as health care costs.

Dave Hyatt, president of IU Health Starke Hospital, is pleased to see state representatives focusing on the importance of rural health. Hyatt stated that bills such as this are important to the continued success of IU Health Starke Hospital and will help the hospital continue to implement the newest technology in Starke County.

IU Health Starke Hospital is currently in development of multiple telehealth initiatives which will enhance the services currently provided in the Emergency Department. New technology has already been added allowing physicians in telemedicine specialties to provide care at the Starke Hospital.

The bill now returns to the Senate for further consideration.