coronavirus illinois

Illinois Launches Telehealth Program to Help Lessen Strain on Hospitals

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The state of Illinois, in partnership with OSF HealthCare and Southern Illinois University’s School of Medicine, has launched a program to provide extensive telehealth services to COVID-19 patients who do not require hospitalization.

The Remote Patient Monitoring Program is “designed to reduce barriers to health and mental health services,” according to a press release from the governor’s office.

Residents in southern and central Illinois are already eligible for the program, and it should be rolled out to residents statewide in the coming week.

 “To help see all our residents through this pandemic, the Department has contracted for these specific at-home COVID-19 supports for anyone in the state regardless of whether they are insured,” Theresa Eagleson, Director of the Illinois Department of Healthcare and Family Services, said in a statement. ‘We’ve also significantly expanded telehealth and remote options to ensure access to healthcare for our over 3 million Medicaid members.”

A person will be eligible for the program if they are showing COVID-19 symptoms, or are deemed to be at “high-risk” of contracting the virus. A person must call the COVID-19 hotlines for a final determination of eligibility, and that number can be found at 833-673-5669.

Under the program, “Pandemic Health Workers” (PHW’s) will digitally connect with residents experiencing COVID-19 symptoms.

Those workers will visit with patients daily, and will deliver wellness kits to their homes, including thermometers, pulse oximeters, blood pressure cuffs, alcohol wipes and other needed supplies. Over the course of 14 days, the workers will continue to ensure that the patient doesn’t require hospitalization or additional care, according to a press release.

The effort is being launched by the state to prevent hospitals from being overrun by patients.

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