Healthcare Facilities

FCC Awards an Additional $42.16 Million to COVID-19 Telehealth Program Providers

The Federal Communications Commission approved an additional 75 applications for funding commitments totaling $42,163,705 for Round 2 of its COVID-19 Telehealth Program. This is the FCC’s fourth funding announcement of approved Round 2 applications, bringing the total to approximately $166.13 million awarded to health care providers in each state, territory, and the District of Columbia, and completing the first phase of Round 2 of the Program.

Senators Introduce Bipartisan Bill to Expand Telehealth Access

Sens Jacky Rosen (D-NV), Steve Daines (R-MT), Tina Smith (D-MN), and Jerry Moran (R-KS) introduced the bipartisan Expanded Telehealth Access Act. During COVID-19, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) expanded access to telehealth services to a range of health care providers, and this legislation would permanently expand that eligibility.

FCC Clarifies That COVID-19 Telehealth Program Applicants May Use Updated Hotspot Data

To address the enduring nature of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Federal Communications Commission clarifies that for the second round of the COVID-19 Telehealth Program, applicants will receive points on their applications for being located in a hotspot or a sustained hotspot based on the relevant dataset as of either (1) May 6, 2021, the date when the application filing window closed, or (2) November 19, 2021, the date when the ten-day resubmission period closes.

Emergency Connectivity Fund: The Case for Flexibility and More Money

Congress took a significant step toward solving the digital divide when it created the Emergency Connectivity Fund in the spring of 2021, appropriating over $7 billion for schools and libraries to connect learners to broadband off campus. Interviews with nearly a dozen Emergency Connectivity Fund applicants reveal that, while there is room for improvement, the program as a whole seems to be working. The FCC has approved applications both large and small in almost every state in the country.

FCC Announces 36 Newly Approved Connected Care Pilot Program Projects

The Federal Communications Commission announced its third set of approved Connected Care Pilot Program projects. These 36 projects were approved for a total of $15,337,689 in funding.

Telemedicine Startups Face Uncertain Regulatory Terrain

Telemedicine startups are confronting a hodgepodge of state regulations, complicating their efforts to expand their services nationwide. Companies that provide care over the web or through mobile devices scaled up rapidly during the pandemic, as overcrowding at hospitals led to more patients meeting doctors virtually. Aiding startups’ growth were temporary waivers of restrictions on telemedicine that many states enacted, including a requirement that doctors be licensed in their state to provide virtual care.

FCC Announces An Additional $40.46 Million Awarded As Part Of Covid-19 Telehealth Program

The Federal Communications Commission approved an additional 71 applications for funding commitments totaling $40,468,845 for Round 2 of its COVID-19 Telehealth Program. This is the FCC’s third funding announcement of approved Round 2 applications bringing the total to approximately $123.6 million awarded to health care providers in each state, territory, and the District of Columbia.

Congressman Pence Leads Bipartisan Legislation to Expand Rural Access to Telehealth

Reps Greg Pence (R-IN) and Angie Craig (D-MN) introduced the Rural Telehealth Access Task Force Act (H.R.5506) to expand rural communities’ access to telehealth capabilities. The proposed legislation seeks to establish a Rural Telehealth Access Task Force between the Federal Communications Commission, United States Department of Agriculture, Department of Health and Human Service, National Telecommunications and Information Administration, and the United States Department of Veterans Affairs.

Broadband Key to Expanding Telehealth's Pandemic Gains, Say Experts

Telehealth can't succeed without expanding access to affordable broadband internet, witnesses told the Senate Commerce Committee on Oct 7. But extending the regulatory flexibilities around this access granted under the public health emergency, which are slated to expire when the COVID-19 pandemic subsides, is also critical, they said, stressing that the benefits of telemedicine can't be understated.

Maintaining health information exchange competitiveness in a new health care market

The COVID-19 pandemic has contributed to the skyrocketing adoption of information technologies, especially in the health care system. The digital transformation of the health care industry is not merely restricted to increased use of telemedicine and telehealth, but also the creation of new care-delivery systems unexpectedly driven by agents external to the health care system, including new medical technology startups and retail companies.