The2nd meeting of the Interim Joint Committee on Health and Welfare was held on Wednesday, August 20, 2008, at 1:00 PM, in the Auditorium of the Ambulatory Care Building on the Health Sciences Center Campus of the University of Louisville. Representative Tom Burch, Co-Chair, called the meeting to order at 1:05 PM, and the secretary called the roll.
Members:Senator Julie Denton, Co-Chair; Representative Tom Burch, Co-Chair; Senators Tom Buford, Perry B. Clark, Denise Harper Angel, Dick Roeding, Dan Seum, Katie Stine, and Johnny Ray Turner; Representatives James R. Comer Jr., Robert R. Damron, Bob M. DeWeese, Joni L. Jenkins, Mary Lou Marzian, Reginald Meeks, Kathy W. Stein, David Watkins, Susan Westrom, and Addia Wuchner.
Guest Legislator: Representative Tanya Pullin.
Guests: Dr. James Ramsey, President, Dr. Larry Cook, Executive Vice President, Dr. Kerri Remmel, Chair of Neurology, Director, University of Louisville Stroke Center, and Vice Dean for Clinical Affairs and Regionalization, School of Medicine, University of Louisville.
LRC Staff: DeeAnn Mansfield, CSA; Mike Bossick, Miriam Fordham, Ben Payne, Gina Rigsby, Jonathan Scott, and Cindy Smith.
Representative Burch, Co-Chair, reported that the Subcommittee on Families and Children, had met that morning and heard testimony
Senator Denton, Co-Chair, reported that the Health Issues Subcommittee had met that morning and heard testimony
Dr. James Ramsey, President, University of Louisville, stated that the university’s mission is to be a premier metropolitan research university. To accomplish this goal requires a world-class academic health sciences center. He said that research benefits Kentucky through economic development. The three parts to achieving success are: (1) translational research that creates the knowledge to heal; (2) education that prepares the next generation of health care providers; and (3) clinical care, outreach and service that provides leading-edge care to citizens.
Dr. Larry Cook, Executive Vice President, University of Louisville, stated that the university’s success has came through an integrated vision that includes Bucks for Brains, translational research, Campus Master Plan, educating Kentucky’s future workforce, and strategic investment in the clinical enterprise. He said that translation research takes it from discovery to delivery. Clinical trials give Kentuckians access to the newest treatments first. The Campus Master Plan objectives are: (1) achieve a distinctive physical environment; (2) extend growth southward to achieve a presence on Broadway; (3) create major gateway entries; (4) concentrate similar uses in common areas; (5) position buildings to reflect the existing grid pattern and cluster them around major open spaces; (6) simplify wayfinding and upgrade pedestrian safety; (7) separate pedestrian, bicycle, and vehicular access; and (8) create key surface corridors and an extensive elevated walkway system.
Senator Seum stated asked about the funding for a new Veterans Administration Hospital. Dr. Cook stated that the University of Louisville wants to receive funds the Veterans Administration is giving states in order to build a hospital that offers the latest technology and research for veterans and their dependents that is not always available at other hospitals.
Dr. Kerri Remmel, M.D., Ph.D., Chair of Neurology, Director, University of Louisville Stroke Center, and Vice Dean for Clinical Affairs and Regionalization, School of Medicine, University of Louisville, demonstrated the remote presence robot. Dr. Remmel stated that since November, 2007 she has been able to work as a sub-specialist with the doctor at the home hospital on patient care. She is able to hear a patient’s heart and lung sounds, look into their pupils, and do a physical work-up on a patient just as if she were in the room with them and make appropriate medical decisions for patients in consultation with their doctor and families. What she did not expect with the robot was to sustain the relationship with the patient and the emotions she has felt with the patients and family members or the personal relationships she has with the nurses and doctors at the hospitals. The expertise at the University of Louisville is available to 12 hospitals statewide where the robots are located. She stated that the remote presence robot care is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week, 365 days a year real-time assistance. Dennis Boyd stated that the university is looking into how it can provide remote presence robot services to the 30 statewide critical access hospitals. Dr. Cook stated the resolution of the machines is incredible and the challenge now is for the physicians to find more uses for the robots.
Representative Pullin stated that using the robots for geriatric psychiatry in nursing homes for veterans is a new concept and one the veterans would be very greatly appreciated.
Representative Wuchner was thankful than the university was able to preserve the integrity and personalization of the relationship with the patient.
Representative Marzian asked if Medicare and/or Medicaid covered the robot services. Dr. Remmel stated that Telecare services are covered by both. Dr. Cook stated that all the 364 doctors in the 12 statewide hospitals have to be credentialed. Representative Marzian asked about the cost of the robot, and Dr. Cook stated that the university leases the robot for $5,000 per month or approximately $200,000 to purchase one.
Representative Burch stated that robotics is becoming a normal part of life. Dr. Remmel said that the robot does not replace the physician, it enhances them.
Senator Denton introduced the new Health and Welfare staff analyst, Mike Bossick, and stated the next meeting would be Friday, September 5, 2008, at the Marriott’s Griffin Gate Resort in Lexington in conjunction with the 2008 KIDS ARE WORTH IT® Annual Child Abuse and Neglect Prevention Conference sponsored by Prevent Child Abuse Kentucky.
There being no further business, the meeting was adjourned at 2:10 p.m.