Laws related to veterans, health care go into effect Jan. 1
New laws related to veterans affairs, drugs and health care are among 217 that will become effective Jan. 1, according to an announcement on state Rep. Lindsay Parkhurst’s (R-Kankakee) website.
One law makes it easier for a patient covered by Medicaid to receive psychiatric treatment by telepsychiatry. A doctor is no longer required to be in the same room as the patient during such calls, according to the announcement.
"This law advances the use of telehealth services as a cost-efficient and effective way to provide easily accessible mental health services across the state, particularly in rural communities where access is limited and virtually non-existent," Parkhurst said in the announcement.
Due to the opioid crisis, a new law restricts the use of synthetic drugs or cannabinoids.
"With the ongoing opioid epidemic, it is important to combat all forms of these drugs including their synthetic cousins because they are just as dangerous," Parkhurst said in the release.
Two other laws are health-related. By classifying post-traumatic stress disorder as a covered disability, veterans can be paired with service animals through the Helping Paws Service Dog Program, Parkhurst said in the release. The other law lets people age 16 and older specify whether they want to be organ donors, a move that helps address shortages, Parkhurst said.
Another law lifts a twice-yearly mandate for transportation companies to comply with vehicle testing and requires the test once a year. Parkhurst said in the announcement that the new regulation eases the regulatory burden on state businesses and “makes Illinois more competitive in the transportation industry.”