October 05, 2018 | FAH Policy Blog team
Category: Health Care Delivery, HIT
FAH Comments on FCC Telehealth Pilot Program
FAH sent a comment letter to the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) this week supporting the Connected Care Pilot Program, which earmarks $100 million to support telehealth for low-income Americans, especially those living in rural areas and veterans.
However, FAH asked that the agency to expand eligibility to include investor owned hospitals.
“Telehealth and other medical technologies are transforming the delivery of health care throughout the United States. Such innovation in treatment modalities have the potential to both improve health care outcomes and reduce costs. The FAH applauds the FCC for developing the Connected Care Pilot Program, which will help expand access to care via telehealth, especially in rural and underserved communities,” the letter states.
It continues, “Unfortunately, under current guidance, investor-owned hospitals are not eligible to participate in the RHCP based on their tax filing status. The FAH membership includes nearly 300 tax-paying rural hospitals, which traditionally serve older, low-income populations. This lack of parity unjustly penalizes patients living in rural communities across the United States that are served by an investor-owned hospital. As such, we encourage the FCC to think more broadly when considering the eligibility criteria for the Connected Care Pilot Program in order to support the most robust implementation of the pilot.”
You can find the complete letter here.