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Pilot program to improve health care access advanced by Shackleford

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For immediate release:
Jan. 23, 2014


STATEHOUSE - Hoosiers in both rural and urban Indiana will soon be able to seek medical consultations without even having to leave their place of employment, based on legislation authored by State Representative Robin Shackleford (D-Indianapolis).

The Indiana House Public Health Committee unanimously passed House Bill (HB) 1258, which will enact pilot programs to allow doctors to treat patients without requiring people to travel to their healthcare providers for treatment.

“This bill allows consumers to have access to convenient and affordable healthcare,” said Shackleford. “It’s a great program that would help both consumers and healthcare practitioners come in alignment with the Affordable Care Act.”

The program would enable people to enter a “pod” at their workplace. This pod will contain a video screen that will allow patients to converse with their doctors, as well as tools that will allow medical professionals to take vital signs of patients without having to be physically present.

“Everything is computerized in the pods,” said Shackleford. “In these situations, doctors would have their patients’ medical history and would be able to converse with patients, make a diagnosis and write prescriptions, all without requiring patients to travel to their doctor’s office.”

Currently, several large health employers have signed up to test the pilot program within their facilities and will implement the program at the conclusion of the 2014 legislative session.

Shackleford said that numerous other companies are interested in being a part of the program as well and she expects the program to expand at the conclusion of the pilot program. HB 1258 now advances to the full House for consideration.

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