FCC Archives - National Consortium of Telehealth Research Centers

FCC, CMS, California Medicaid All Take Steps to Expand Telehealth Utilization

By | Center for Connected Health Policy
Original Source: Center for Connected Health Policy
FCC Pilot Up for Public Comment & FCC Voting to Overhaul Rural Health Care Program

Last month the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) released their proposed ruleto establish the Connected Care Pilot Program to support the development of telehealth services and delivery for low-income Americans, especially among rural and veteran populations. A Notice of Inquiry for comments on the program was originally made in July 2018.  The FCC is proposing to adopt a $100 million budget, and would fund up to 20 connected care projects with a three-year funding period, though all costs of a pilot would not be fully funded by this program. The pilot would give health care providers the flexibility to determine health conditions and geographic areas that they would like to focus on. The program would be limited to only health conditions that typically require at least several months or more of treatment, such as behavioral health, opioid dependency, chronic health conditions and high risk pregnancies. The proposed rule was published in the Federal Register on July 30, 2019 and comments are due August 29, 2019.  FCC’s responses to public comments are expected on or before September 30, 2019.

Additionally, in July the FCC voted to adopt a Report and Order which indicates they will be reforming the way they distribute funding in the Rural Health Care Program, amidst growing demand and an effort to reduce inefficiencies and waste.  A major component of the Rural Health Care Program involves subsidizing the cost of broadband services for rural participants. The FCC plans to prioritize its support through the program based on “rurality tiers” as well as if the Health Resources and Service Administration (HRSA) designates the area as a medically underserved population, with those classified as “extremely rural” receiving the highest priority.

To learn more about the FCC’s Report and Order and other planned changes, see the full document.

Read More

Federal Communications Commission Announces “Connected Care Pilot Program”

By | Center for Connected Health Policy

Original Source: Center for Connected Health Policy

On July 11th, Federal Communications Commission (FCC) Commissioner Brendan Carr made a statement announcing the establishment of the FCC’s “Connected Care Pilot Program.” The $100 million program is intended to support the development of telehealth services and delivery for low-income Americans, particularly rural and veteran populations. The decision comes from trends toward connected care observed by the FCC. Commissioner Carr acknowledged that health care is no longer limited to in-person care and that the FCC is exploring ways to support the movement towards connected care. He also noted the significant cost savings and improved patient outcomes associated with telehealth.  Read More

FCC’s Carr Previews $100M Pilot Program to Support Telemedicine

By | Recent Telehealth News

Article Author: Eli Richman

Source: Fierce Healthcare

WASHINGTON—A $100 million telehealth initiative announced by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) earlier this month will largely focus on delivering virtual medical technologies directly to low-income patients in remote areas of the country, according to Commissioner Brendan Carr.

At a Tuesday event held by the Connected Health Initiative (CHI) at the Microsoft Innovation & Policy Center, Carr spoke with ACT | The App Association President Morgan Reed about how stakeholders can expect the FCC’s Connected Care Pilot Program to work.

Read More.

FCC Eyes Support for Telehealth, RPM Projects Serving Rural America

By | Recent Telehealth News

Article Author: Erick Wicklund

Source: mHealth Intelligence

 – Federal authorities are proposing to launch a $100 million program to support telehealth and telemedicine programs for underserved populations, including remote patient monitoring programs that have shown past success in treating rural patients with diabetes and veterans.

The Connected Care Pilot Program, announced by Federal Communications Commission member Brendan Carr and Mississippi Sen. Roger Wicker in a July 11 op-ed piece in the Clarion Ledger, would focus on projects for low-income Americans, particularly veterans and those in rural areas. It would also support certain projects over the next two to three years that measure and verify the value of connected care programs in reducing costs, increasing savings and improving clinical outcomes.

The FCC will vote on a Notice of Inquiry at its August meeting to support the program.

Read More.

FCC commissioners boost Rural Health Care Program cap to $571M

By | Recent Telehealth News

Article Author: Greg Slabodkin

Source: Health Data Management

The Federal Communications Commission has voted in favor of a proposal by FCC Chairman Ajit Pai to increase the annual cap from $400 million to $571 million for the Rural Health Care Program, which provides telecommunications and broadband services to rural communities supporting telemedicine.

Last week, Pai sent a draft order to his colleagues at the agency seeking an increase in the annual funding cap by $171 million for the Rural Health Care Program. In response, a majority of the FCC’s commissioners voted in favor of the proposal to take immediate action to address a funding shortfall and improve telemedicine in rural areas.

Read More.