State Rep. Chris Campbell advocates for further expansion of telehealth services to improve education and outcomes

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INDIANAPOLIS – As innovations in care delivery technology continue to transform the Hoosier State’s rural communities and pandemic response, State Rep. Chris Campbell (D-West Lafayette) today released the following statement on how Senate Bill 3 falls short in improving education and outcomes. The audiologist and legislator emphasized the need for telemedicine training for students in the medical field and additional expansions to the provider list. 

The current version of Senate Bill 3 does not allow students and health provider assistants to conduct telemedicine appointments, and does not include providers in the mental health, addiction services and speech pathology fields.  

“Demonstrated throughout the duration of the global pandemic, telemedicine is a critical component of the health care industry, and state lawmakers must work diligently to ensure Hoosiers have access to convenient and comprehensive medical care,” Campbell said. “Senate Bill 3 was a step in the right direction, but unfortunately not the bold action needed to address concerns in education and outcomes. I have serious concerns about the limitations of this legislation as rural health providers, in particular, need flexibility to provide continuous care to patients in their communities. 

“My lived experience as a medical professional and legislator has allowed me to see and hear firsthand the many benefits of telehealth services. Senate Bill 3 would have been cutting edge legislation if it allowed students and health aides to participate in telehealth expansions and included some of the most vital health care providers. 

“It is both a disservice to patients and health care industry students to not allow their involvement in the future of telemedicine. Opening up eligibility would have given more access to patients and been an integral part of educating the next generation of health care providers.” 

Campbell expressed particular concern with the current providers’ list as the Hoosier State faces a mental health crisis exacerbated by the global pandemic. Mental health professionals continue to be in high demand. Approximately 22% of adults in Indiana felt that they had an unmet need for counseling or therapy during the pandemic. A little over 13% of U.S. adults reported new or increased substance use. 

“It would be remiss for me not to mention my disappointment with the current certified provider list, particularly with the exclusion of mental health and addiction services,” Campbell said. “The Hoosier State is facing a mental health crisis and our constituents need help. We can bring a range of healthcare services directly into patients’ homes by allowing all medical professionals to utilize telehealth services.

“Limiting access to these providers hurts patients, particularly those in rural communities. Rectifying the disparities in our healthcare system ensures no Hoosier is forgotten when it comes to vital healthcare.

“I will remain committed to expanding access to health care for all.”

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