Bob Morgan illinois state representative

Health Care Licenses/Insurance Committees Hold Joint Subject Matter Hearing On Artificial Intelligence (AI)

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Springfield, IL – The Illinois House Health Licenses and Insurance Committees held a joint subject matter hearing on Wednesday, delving into the complex landscape of Artificial Intelligence (AI) in healthcare insurance. Legislators, industry advisors, and academics convened to discuss the implications of AI on patient care, regulatory challenges, and the future of healthcare.

Chairman of the Health Care Licenses, Rep. Bob Morgan (D- Deerfield), underscored the dual nature of AI in healthcare, acknowledging its potential benefits while expressing concerns over misuse. “We must tread carefully,” he warned. Adding that, “When we talk about AI, [it] is already outpacing the human mind, and it’s only a matter of time before they outpace our structures and our systems — particularly when it comes to regulations and healthcare,” pointing out the risk of companies leveraging AI to deny patient coverage and limit patient access. 

Kicking off the three panel hearing, Adam Flores, from the IL Department of Insurance, shared new efforts to regulate AI tools, emphasizing their commitment to safeguarding patients’ rights and calling for robust safeguards from legislators and, at minimum, creating frameworks within the space that businesses should operate. The Department of Insurance issued a bulletin earlier in the day on the use of AI, which can be found here. Following, America’s Health Insurance Plan highlighted how AI is already being used by insurance to reduce administrative tasks, enhancing user experiences and expediting health insurance applications with the use of chatbots, emphasizing that while AI can help streamline processes, human intervention remains integral throughout the process, balancing automation with personal oversight.

Dr. Abel Kho, Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine, stated that many AI implementations in healthcare require complex patient and provider information, and highlighted that “AI algorithms are only as good as the data they are trained on”, noting that AI often overlooks personal behaviors and preferences.” Dr. Ben Zhao, Computer Science Professor at the University of Chicago, outlined how regulators need to caution against the notion that using AI can be a cheaper alternative to expert medical care. In instances where a patient may not be able to afford a Physician, there needs to be initiatives taken that patients aren’t left with a “second-tiered” option through AI. 

Marc Adelson, representing AI operations for Teladoc, a multinational telemedicine and virtual healthcare company, shared the importance of moving with regulation. Adelson shared that the business community is looking for states and the Federal Government to start implementing legal frameworks upon which businesses can operate, stating that “Teladoc is a supporter of frameworks to promote consistency across the industry.” Concluding, Rep. Morgan vowed to continue the discourse, stating that, “vast stakeholders need to be a part of the conversion, including patients, healthcare professionals and technology leaders alike.”