(WSIL) — Governor JB Pritzker signed legislation Monday aiming at expanding healthcare access and protecting older Illinoisans.
The four pieces of bipartisan legislation, Senate Bill 677, House Bill 848, House Bill 2570, and House Bill 3147 expand equitable access to healthcare for Illinois’ aging population. The legislation also makes Illinois the first nation to require regular Alzheimer’s Disease training for all licensed healthcare professionals serving adults.
“I am excited to sign four pieces of legislation that will make Illinois an even safer state for seniors,” said Governor JB Pritzker. “I’d like to thank IDoA for hosting a spectacular Senior Day at the fair, the elected officials in attendance for spearheading these important bills, and to all the care providers who support our seniors every day. Together, the steps we’re taking today mark a bipartisan commitment to ensuring that Illinois seniors can live their best lives.”
Senate Bill 677
SB 677 requires licensed health care professionals, who have direct patient interaction with adults age 26 and older, to complete at least a one-hour course in diagnosis, treatment, and care on Alzheimer’s and other dementias. The curriculum will include content on how to identify and diagnose Alzheimer’s, effective communication strategies, and management and care planning.
SB 677 is effective January 1, 2023.
House Bill 848
HB 848 extends the Alzheimer’s scratch-off ticket from January 1, 2022 to January 1, 2025. Amending the Illinois Lottery Law will continue the sale of the special instant scratch-off game to benefit Alzheimer’s care, support, education, and awareness in Illinois by three additional years.
HB 848 is effective immediately.
HB 3147 addresses the lack of personal connection brought by the pandemic by requiring long-term care facilities to ensure virtual communication is facilitated among residents and family during a public health emergency.
The legislation adds a new section the Nursing Home Care Act and the Hospital Licensing Act relating to communication methods between doctors and patients during a pandemic. Upon request, long-term care facilities and hospitals must facilitate at least one daily phone or video call between a resident or patient and their family member during a public health emergency.
HB 3147 is effective immediately.
House Bill 2570
SB 2570 ensures that individuals 55 and older who complete an online defensive driving course, compared to an in-person option, may still be eligible for an auto insurance discount.
HB2570 is effective upon becoming law
“The past year has been challenging for all of us, but especially for older adults,” said Paula Basta, Director of the Illinois Department of Aging. “So, this legislation reflects the administration’s continued commitment to providing critical services to older Illinoisans above the age of 60. I would like to thank Governor Pritzker for his leadership throughout the pandemic. And I would also like to thank the Alzheimer’s Association, stakeholders, and our legislators for their work to expand Alzheimer’s care, support, awareness and education. This package of legislation is about respecting yesterday, supporting today, and planning for tomorrow.”