Healthcare Facilities

FCC dodges disaster as court approves handling of broadband subsidies

The 5th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals upheld the decades-old funding mechanisms governing Federal Communications Commission subsidies, a decision that assures the delivery of billions of dollars in broadband aid across a variety of government programs. The FCC, for more than a quarter-century, has operated this pot of subsidies known as the Universal Service Fund, amounting to roughly $9 billion annually.

Promoting Telehealth to Low-Income Consumers; COVID-19 Telehealth Program

In this report, the Federal Communications Commission's Wireline Competition Bureau analyzes how the Connected Care Pilot Program and the COVID-19 Telehealth Program impacted healthcare providers’ use of telehealth services. Telehealth took on an increasingly critical role in healthcare delivery during the coronavirus disease 2019 pandemic.

Half of ACP-Eligible Households Still Unaware of the Program

After a year of operation, half of all households eligible for the Affordable Connectivity Program (ACP) internet subsidy are unaware of the benefit. A January 2023 survey of low-income households finds that over 50% say they have never heard of the program or do not know anything about it. Although many eligible households are unaware of ACP, the survey points to ways in which policymakers and community leaders can encourage enrollment. First, outreach can make a difference.

FCC Announces Wind Down of COVID-19 Telehealth Program

The Federal Communications Commission's Wireline Competition Bureau (Bureau) and Office of the Managing Director offer guidance to participants in the COVID-19 Telehealth Program on the expected expiration of the National Emergency and Public Health Emergency on May 11, 2023.

FCC Targets Additional $7 Million Toward Affordable Connectivity Program Awareness

The Federal Communications Commission is targeting approximately $7.445 million for two additional one-year, pilot outreach grant programs to raise awareness of the Affordable Connectivity Program (ACP). The two pilot programs will test a variety of methods to reach out to federal housing communities, and work with trusted third parties to assist consumers with completing and submitting an ACP application. The FCC selected 23 applicants for the Your Home, Your Internet Program and 9 applicants for the ACP Navigator Pilot Program.

Use of Telemedicine among Physicians and Development of Telemedicine Apps

Prior to the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic, adoption of telemedicine was slow and its usage was rare. However, during the pandemic, usage of telemedicine increased dramatically with physicians using a number of telemedicine tools to deliver health services, while limiting patients’ exposure to the virus. Wide use of telemedicine may impact various aspects of health care delivery such as quality, cost, and access to care. Thus, a detailed understanding about the usage of telemedicine is vital to develop better policies associated with health care delivery.

2022 Report to Congress: Update on the Access, Exchange, and Use of Electronic Health Information

Hundreds of thousands of physician offices, hospitals, and health systems across the US have transitioned from paper-based medical records to health IT that is certified under the Office of the National Coordinator (ONC) Health IT Certification Program. This report highlights the impact that the 21st Century Cures Act (Cures Act) and its implementation contributed to continued progress toward interoperable access, exchange, and use of electronic health information (EHI).

Digital healthcare equity in primary care: implementing an integrated digital health navigator

The 21st Century Cures Act and the rise of telemedicine led to a renewed focus on patient portals. However, portal use disparities persist and are in part driven by limited digital literacy. To address digital disparities in primary care, we implemented an integrated digital health navigator program supporting portal use among patients with type II diabetes. During our pilot, we were able to enroll 121 (30.9%) patients in the portal.

Rep. Balderson (R-OH) Introduces Legislation to Expand Telehealth Access, Empower Rural Americans with Options

Representatives Troy Balderson (R-OH), Susie Lee (D-NV), Ashley Hinson (R-IA), and Joe Neguse (D-CO) introduced bipartisan legislation to expand and improve access to telehealth services for all Americans. The "Knowing the Efficiency and Efficacy of Permanent (KEEP) Telehealth Options Act" requires the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), Medicare Payment Advisory Commission (MedPAC), and Medicaid and CHIP Payment and Access Commission (MACPAC) to each conduct a report and issue recommendations on telehealth.

Treasury Announces Three Additional Capital Projects Fund Awards, Connecting Nearly 190,000 Homes and Businesses to Affordable, High-Speed Internet

The US Department of the Treasury announced the approval of high-speed internet projects in three additional states under the American Rescue Plan Act's (ARPA) Capital Projects Fund (CPF): Arizona, Tennessee, and Wyoming. Together, these states will use their funding to connect nearly 190,000 homes and businesses to affordable, high-speed internet.