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Indiana House Approves Rural Health Bill

STATEHOUSE (March 25, 2013) — State Sen. Vaneta Becker’s (R-Evansville) bill aimed at improving health-care access for Indiana’s rural residents is one step closer to becoming law after receiving approval today from the Indiana House of Representatives.
Senate Bill 554, which passed the House 94-0, would require the Office of Medicaid Policy and Planning to reimburse health-care 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. Becker said using this technology reduces re-admissions to hospitals and saves lives as well as health-care costs.
“It’s my goal to help Hoosiers, especially those in rural areas, have better access to high-quality medical care,” Becker said. “Telehealth networks are expanding in these regions, and we need to ensure patients have the opportunity to take advantage of the resources they offer.”
SB 554 now returns to the Senate for further consideration.
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