On March 25, 2021, Illinois Governor J.B. Pritzker vetoed HB 3360, which would have allowed plaintiffs to recover prejudgment interest, at a rate of nine percent, on all damages related to personal injuries or wrongful death. The governor believed this bill was too burdensome on hospitals and healthcare providers since most Illinois hospitals are self-insured, making them directly responsible for paying the costs of this legislation. However, the governor’s veto letter expressed a willingness to pass prejudgment interest legislation if problems with the current bill, including more robust protections for health care providers, were addressed. That same day, the Illinois House and Senate passed SB 72, which addressed some of the governor’s concerns.
The Coalition to Protect Telehealth and State Representative Deb Conroy of the Illinois 46th House District have introduced legislation that would permanently expand access to telehealth services for Illinoisans. The legislation also details provisions that promote telehealth payment rate partity between telehealth services and in-person care. In a direct response to the COVID-19 pandemic, telehealth providers have been granted temporary waivers to align their payment rates with those prescribed for traditional care in health care facilities. These waivers have served as stabilizing financial mechanisms for many practitioners experiencing revenue loss due to the restrictions on elective procedures and non-emergency care. The proposed legislation would give patients more freedom to utilize telehealth services by removing the patient responsibilities to demonstrate hardship or access issues.