June 8, 2020 — The Federal Communication Commission’s recent initiatives to increase funding for telehealth services, or broadband-enabled healthcare, are not accessible to for-profit hospitals, according to panelists speaking on a Federal Communications Bar Association webinar on May 21.
The three major agency initiatives for which private hospitals are ineligible include the COVID-19 Telehealth Program, the Connected Care Pilot Program and the Rural Health Care Program.
Samantha Burch, director of health information technology policy for the American Hospital Association, argued that the decision to make for-profit hospitals ineligible for federal funding was a significant mistake, as 20 percent of hospitals nationwide are for-profit, some of which are located in rural areas.
“We believe that all direct care facilities are in need of this support. COVID-19 doesn’t discriminate based on the tax bracket surrounding hospitals,” Burch said.
According to Chad Eberle, senior counsel in the Telecommunications Access Policy Division, federal funding allocated through the COVID-19 and connected care programs is targeted towards areas that have been hardest hit by the pandemic. In other words, more populous areas, which have been highly impacted by coronavirus compared to their rural counterparts, will receive most of the recent federal assets.
Once again, rural hospitals, whether for-profit or non-profit, have been disregarded, Eberle said. These hospitals will continue to lack essential utilities and resources due to a lack of necessary federal funding.
According to Burch, the American Hospital Association supports the steps taken by the FCC, but recognizes that more needs to be done.
Burch also expressed concern that this temporary funding will disappear after the COVID-19 crisis, based on the slow progress of telehealth funding prior to the pandemic.
To ensure the momentum keeps going, data will be necessary to prove the need for expanding the broadband infrastructure that telehealth practices demand. Limited data currently available reveals that telehealth practices lead to reduced costs and improved patient satisfaction.
Data collected on the Banner Health Ambulatory Care Program reveals telehealth practices have led to a 34.5 percent reduction in cost, a 49.5 percent reduction in hospitalization, a 50 percent reduction in length of stay and a 75 percent reduction in 30-day readmission rate.
- Online Speech Has Harmful Effects on Both Individuals and Society, According to Mary Anne Franks
- Pandemic Has Created an Environment for Consumer Fraud, Say Congressional Leaders
- Breakfast Media Minute: July 10, 2020
- Metrics and Automation Can Improve Federal Cybersecurity Measures
- Federal Communications Commission Must Reconsider Ligado Offer, Says Former Commissioner
Signup for Broadband Breakfast
Fiber1 month ago
Fiber Networks Hold a Cybersecurity Advantage Over Rival Co-Axial and Wireless Technologies, Say Panelists
Artificial Intelligence3 weeks ago
Brookings Panelists Emphasize Importance of Addressing Biases in Artificial Intelligence Technology
Artificial Intelligence1 week ago
U.S. State Department Employing Artificial Intelligence Against COVID-19 Misinformation
Congress1 month ago
Partisan Disagreement Delays Broadband Funding That Might Come Through HEROES Act
Broadband Roundup1 week ago
Artificial Intelligence Task Force, State Cybersecurity, ADTRAN Offers Rural Funding Guidance
#broadbandlive3 weeks ago
Broadband Breakfast Live Online on Wednesday, June 17, 2020 – Federal Broadband Funds and Opportunity Zones
Expert Opinion1 month ago
Gary Bolton: Under the Stress of COVID-19, the Networks That Held Fast Were Symmetrical Fiber Broadband
Education2 weeks ago
A Mix of Resources and Technologies Are Needed to Close the Homework Gap