The FCC will seek to establish a new $100 million “Connected Care Pilot Program” to support telehealth for low-income Americans, according to an editorial authored by Senator Roger Wicker and FCC Commissioner Brendan Carr.
“We’re seeing a trend in telehealth towards connected care everywhere,” Carr wrote. “The FCC has long supported the deployment of broadband to healthcare facilities, but advances in technology mean that high-tech, life-saving services are no longer limited to the confines of connected, brick-and-mortar facilities.”
Carr’s office has been meeting with experts in this field, visiting rural health care facilities, and working to see how the FCC can support this movement towards connected care.
“Given the significant cost savings and improved patient outcomes associated with connected care, we should align public policy in support of this movement in telehealth,” Carr wrote. “At the FCC, we can play a constructive role by helping to support the connectivity and deployments needed to ensure that all communities get a fair shot at benefiting from new telehealth technologies.”
The FCC will vote on a Notice of Inquiry at its August Open Meeting that seeks comment on:
• Budgeting for $100 million in USF support
• Targeting support to connected care deployments that would benefit low-income patients, including those eligible for Medicaid or veterans receiving cost-free medical care
• Supporting a limited number of projects over a two- or three-year period with controls in place to measure and verify the benefits, costs, and savings associated with connected care deployments