FCC to Pushing for More Telehealth in Rural Areas

 

Federal Goverement Raises Caps on Incentives for Telemedicine.

The Federal Communication Commission (FCC) announced that they will be increasing the funding cap of the Rural Health Care Program from $400 million by $171 million to $571 million. The Rural Health Care Program provides telecommunications and internet infrastructure to rural communities across the US to support telemedicine, and incentivizes providers to provide care in these areas. The cap for the Rural Health Care Program was created in 1997, and when the original cap was set it was not indexed for inflation. This move corrects that gap.

Telemedicine Becoming Ever More Important

Broadband internet access is vitally important for access to telemedicine in rural areas. Ajit Pai chairman of the FCC said in a statement “Healthcare has become increasingly reliant on connectivity over the past two decades, and this proposal reflects the need to keep pace with this evolution”. The American Hospital Association’s executive viper president said “this funding is critical to improve the lives of rural Americans”.

Sentate Pushed for Cap Raise

The cap increase follows last month letter from 31 senators address to the FCC asking to raise the cap. The letter noted that unless the spending cap was not raise rural providers were going to see a large rate increase of their broadband service.

 

 

 

To learn more about the Rural Health Care Program click here

To read address from the FCC concerning the cap increase click here

Source: FCC chairman calls for boost in Rural Health Care Program cap by Greg Slabodkin Published June 07, 2018.