The Federal Communication Commission today released a draft notice of proposed rulemaking and order that would update its Rural Health Care Program to meet the growing demand for broadband telehealth services. Among other changes, the draft order would waive the RHC Program’s $400 million cap on a one-time basis and allow unused funds from previous years to support current applicants. The cap was exceeded in fiscal years 2016 and 2017. In addition, the notice seeks comment on increasing the RHC Program’s $400 million annual cap permanently and creating a prioritization mechanism in the event of demand exceeding the cap. “It is time to revisit and reset this cap to provide support for all qualifying applicants and ensure that all Americans can benefit from a broadband-connected health care system, regardless of where they live,” wrote AHA Senior Vice President of Public Policy Analysis and Development Ashley Thompson in a May letter to FCC. FCC will consider the proposed rulemaking and order at its Dec. 14 public meeting.

Related News Articles

Insights and Analysis
One great way to improve capacity and prepare for the future workforce needs—as well as respond to consumers’ desires—is to fully embrace telehealth.
Chairperson's File
More than three-quarters of U.S.
Headline
Eligible hospitals, clinics and other organizations may apply through June 10 for up to $725,000 each to expand access to medication-assisted treatment for…
Headline
Critical Access Hospitals, certain clinics, and other eligible outpatient facilities that provide primary care or substance use disorder treatment to high-need…
Headline
The Health Resources and Services Administration will host a webinar for applying for grants to coordinate maternal and obstetrics care in rural regions.
Insights and Analysis
Learn about the framework for Gundersen Health System’s (La Crosse, Wis.) model for affiliations with critical access hospitals and how it has led to reduced…