The proposal would fully fund telehealth services and devices for eligible healthcare providers, although some aren’t pleased with its exclusion of for-profit hospitals.
On Monday, Federal Communications Commission Chairman Ajit Pai pulled back the curtain on a $200 million program that would combat the COVID-19 crisis by bankrolling telecommunications equipment and services for qualifying healthcare providers.
Alongside general questions on the program’s budgeting, duration and structure, the new Notice of Proposed Rulemaking is searching for guidance on how best to address challenges specific to the end goal of connecting rural patients to care. Examples of these issues include how best to target support for veteran populations or those living in Tribal lands; whether the pilot should be limited to understaffed providers; and how the program can address opioid dependency, diabetes, mental health disease and other high-volume health conditions.
The Federal Communications Commission today took steps to explore the creation of an experimental “Connected Care Pilot Program” to support the delivery of advanced telehealth services to low-income Americans.
Zip code is often the best indicator of health outcomes, so in the age of digital health, it’s no surprise that those isolated from physical healthcare hubs are often also isolated from the technology that could fill those gaps. That’s why the Federal Communications Commission’s Connect2Health Task Force has launched a new mapping to tool that will try to identify where broadband could be maximized to improve access to health care.