The Federal Communications Commission today voted unanimously to approve a notice of proposed rulemaking to establish a new $100 million “Connected Care Pilot Program” to support telehealth for low-income Americans, including veterans and those living in rural areas. “The future of health care is connected care, and this is the future that I want the FCC to support,” said FCC Chairman Ajit Pai. The AHA has said the program is a critical next step toward delivering affordable telehealth services to those Americans who need it the most, and in September shared comments and recommendations with the FCC on its notice of inquiry about the program. Among other areas, FCC’s proposed rule seeks comments on who should participate in the pilot, including eligible health care providers and broadband service providers; the goals of the pilot; and the project application submission and evaluation. FCC will accept comments for 30 days after the rule is published in the Federal Register.

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