[r73] Improving access to services with technology

Posted by: Lindsay Devlin  | Friday, January 23, 2015

With continued advancement in technology, information and services are more accessible than ever. I believe in taking advantage of these technological advancements to improve Indiana, particularly our state’s health care and judicial systems. I have authored two pieces of legislation that utilize audio and video tele-services in an effort to take advantage of new technology, making life a little better for Hoosiers.

House Bill (HB) 1451 would make an inclusion of telemedicine services to be placed under our state’s health care consent law. It would provide coverage of telemedicine services under a policy of accident and sickness insurance and a health maintenance organization contract. The inclusion would allow more Hoosiers the option to use telemedicine services, which is the chance to see a medical professional via video and audio, rather than in person. This type of care is often times more convenient, cost-efficient and time-saving.

In Indiana, there are some parts of the state without hospitals, so this measure will create more opportunities for those living in those areas who seek medical advice and care without having to drive too far. This measure would also increase the opportunity to receive second opinions without a physical doctor’s visit.  

The other measure I authored, related to technological advances, is HB 1531. The bill would give someone who is incarcerated the opportunity to make a court appearance via audio and video, rather than in person. This practice could create financial savings because the state, in these cases, would not have to fund the transportation of these individuals to the courtroom. Another aspect this bill would give a person confined in a county jail the ability to receive mental help through video and audio services. Again, this could save the state money on judicial costs.

With the state’s two-year budget up for review this year, I think these bills will not only save taxpayers money, but also provide an invaluable service to Hoosiers in need. I am eager to continue working on legislation that will positively impact our community, and as always, my top priority is listening your thoughts and opinions to move Indiana forward.

That is why, if you have not done so already, I encourage you to fill out my 2015 legislative survey and mail it back to me. My survey can also be found online by going to my website at www.indianahouserepublicans.com. The responses you submit are incredibly valuable to me as I serve our community at the Statehouse.

In the coming months, I will continue to work on legislation and advocate for measures that strengthen our state’s education system and boost the economy. Please feel free to contact my office by phone at 1-800-383-9841 or email at h73@iga.in.gov. I look forward to hearing from you.