- Associated Press - Wednesday, May 9, 2018

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) - A state task force will work to expand virtual health care to Illinois residents who live in rural areas.

Lt. Gov. Evelyn Sanguinetti (san-gwih-NEH’-tee) chaired the force’s first meeting Wednesday. The group identified ways for the state’s Medicaid program to provide health care through the use of technology.

Sanguinetti says the state’s rural residents often “go without needed access to health services because of where they live.” She adds that it’s possible to expand care at a lower cost by using technology that can connect patients and doctors virtually.

The initiative is also one of the ways the state hopes to integrate behavioral and physical health services.

The 18-member task force is made up of health professionals and advocates from around the state.

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