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Now called the Health Care Connect Fund
Derived From: FCC Health Care Initiative
"The FCC's Wireline Competition Bureau (WCB) oversees the Health Care Connect Fund, the Rural Health Care Telecommunications and Internet Access Programs, and the Rural Health Care Pilot Program. The Universal Service Administrative Company (USAC), under WCB oversight, administers the day-to-day operations of these programs. The FCC's Health Care Connect Fund order is available via download here: http://hraunfoss.fcc.gov/edocs_public/attachmatch/FCC-12-150A1.doc
"In 2012, the FCC established the Health Care Connect Fund to expand health care provider (HCP) access to broadband, especially in rural areas, and encourage the creation of state and regional broadband health care networks. Building on the success of the Rural Health Care Pilot Program (see below), the Health Care Connect Fund provides support to eligible public and not-for-profit HCPs for the cost of broadband services or facilities that they use for health care purposes. The Health Care Connect Fund also permits HCPs to receive support for constructing and owning broadband infrastructure. The Health Care Connect Fund encourages HCPs to organize into consortia to reap the benefits of network participation, including higher bandwidth and better quality connections at lower rates than those generally available to individual HCPs, though it also allows individual rural HCPs to participate. The existing Internet Access and Rural Health Care Pilot programs (see below) ultimately will be transitioned into the Health Care Connect Fund.
"In the 1996 Telecommunications Act, Congress directed the FCC to provide rural HCPs with “an affordable rate for the services necessary for the provision of telemedicine and instruction relating to such services.” In 1997, the FCC established the Rural Health Care Telecommunications program to ensure that rural HCPs paid no more than their urban counterparts for their telecommunications needs. In 2003, the FCC added the Rural Health Care Internet Access program to provide a 25% discount off the cost of monthly Internet access. These two programs together are called the Rural Health Care Primary Program.
"In 2006, the FCC established the Rural Health Care Pilot Program to support state and regional broadband networks designed to bring the benefits of telemedicine and telehealth services to areas of the country where they were most needed. The Pilot program was specifically intended to provide the FCC with more information on how to best support a nationwide broadband health network, so that it could reform the overall Rural Health Care Primary Program. In 2012, WCB issued a Staff Report finding that the Pilot Program has, among other things, fostered the creation and extension of broadband networks of HCPs throughout the country; demonstrated the cost savings, relative administrative simplicity, and network-facilitating value of a consortium approach; and shown that supporting non-rural HCPs yields many benefits, including project leadership, administrative and technical resources, and access to medical specialists through telemedicine. The Pilot Program is closed to new applicants. HCPs and consortia will be able to participate in the new Health Care Connect Fund, when it becomes effective, or in the existing Telecommunications and Internet Access Programs".
- Released: 12/15/2015. WIRELINE COMPETITION BUREAU INVITES COMMENT ON PETITION FOR RULEMAKING FILED BY SCHOOLS, HEALTH, & LIBRARIES BROADBAND COALITION, ET AL, SEEKING FURTHER MODERNIZATION OF THE RURAL HEALTH CARE PROGRAM. (DA No. 15-1424). (Dkt No 02-60 ). Comments Due: 01/14/2016. Reply Comments Due: 01/29/2016. WCB . https://apps.fcc.gov/edocs_public/attachmatch/DA-15-1424A1.docx
- Released: 09/11/2015. WIRELINE COMPETITION BUREAU REPORTS ON RURAL PARTICIPATION IN THE HEALTHCARE CONNECT FUND PROGRAM. (DA No. 15-1006). (Dkt No 02-60 ). WCB . https://apps.fcc.gov/edocs_public/attachmatch/DA-15-1006A1.docx
- Released: 02/19/2014. WIRELINE COMPEITION BUREAU ANNOUNCES DEFERRAL OF THE SKILLED NURSING FACILITY PILOT PROGRAM PENDING COMMISSION CONSIDERATION OF RURAL HEALTHCARE BROADBAND PROPOSALS. (DA No. 14-223). (Dkt No 10-90 02-60 ). WCB . http://hraunfoss.fcc.gov/edocs_public/attachmatch/DA-14-223A1.doc
- FCC CHAIRMAN GENACHOWSKI ANNOUNCES UP TO $400 MILLION HEALTHCARE CONNECT FUND TO CREATE & EXPAND TELEMEDICINE NETWORKS, INCREASE ACCESS TO MEDICAL SPECIALISTS. FCC Will Begin Accepting Applications for the Healthcare Connect Fund Beginning Late Summer of 2013. News Release OCHJG http://hraunfoss.fcc.gov/edocs_public/attachmatch/DOC-318275A1.docx
- RURAL HEALTH CARE SUPPORT MECHANISM. The Commission launches the Healthcare Connect Fund to expand health care provider access to broadband and foster state and regional broadband health care networks, and creates a Skilled Nursing Facility Pilot Program. (Dkt No. 02-60 ). Action by: the Commission. Adopted: 12/12/2012 by R&O. (FCC No. 12-150). WCB http://hraunfoss.fcc.gov/edocs_public/attachmatch/FCC-12-150A1.doc
- Health Care Connect Fund order: www.fcc.gov/document/fcc-releases-healthcare-connect-order
- RURAL HEALTH CARE AND SUPPORT MECHANISM. FCC Preserves Rural Health Care Support for Over 200 Providers. by ORDER. (Dkt No. 02-60 ). Action by: the Commission. Adopted: 06/20/2011 by NPRM. (FCC No. 11-101). WCB TXT
- 6/21/11 FCC Preserves Rural Health Care Support for Over 200 Providers. Order & NPRM: Word | Acrobat
- "In this Order, we adopt an interim rule1 permitting health care providers that are located in a “rural area” under the definition used by the Commission prior to July 1, 2005, and that have received a funding commitment from the rural health care program prior to July 1, 2005, to continue to be treated as if they are located in “rural” areas for purposes of determining eligibility for all universal service rural health care programs.2 In the accompanying Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (Notice), we seek comment on whether to make these “grandfathered” providers permanently eligible for discounted services under the rural health care program. Grandfathered providers do not currently qualify as “rural,” but play a key role in delivering health care services to surrounding regions that do qualify as “rural” today. Thus, we take these actions to ensure that health care providers located in rural areas can continue to benefit from connecting with grandfathered providers, and thereby provide health care to patients in rural areas."
- 05/03/11 Order (WC Docket No. 02-60). Subject to certain conditions, the Wireline Competition Bureau extends by one year, to June 30, 2012, the deadline for participants in the Rural Health Care Pilot Program to choose a vendor and request funding commitments. The Wireline Competition Bureau also extends by one year the invoicing deadline for Rural Health Care Pilot Program participants. Order: Word | Acrobat
- Released: 07/01/2011. WIRELINE COMPETITION BUREAU ANNOUNCES DEADLINES FOR COMMENTS ON RURAL HEALTH CARE GRANDFATHERING NOTICE OF PROPOSED RULEMAKING. (DA No. 11-1160). (Dkt No 02-60 ). Comments Due: 07/27/2011. Reply Comments Due: 08/11/2011. WCB . TXT
- RURAL HEALTH CARE SUPPORT MECHANISM. Extended by one year, to June 30, 2012, the deadline for participants in the Pilot Program to choose a
vendor and request funding commitments from the USAC. Extended by one year the invoice deadline for Pilot Program participants. (Dkt No. 02-60 ). Action by: Chief, Wireline Competition Bureau. Adopted: 05/03/2011 by ORDER. (DA No. 11-819). WCB TXT
- Released: 01/28/2011. REQUESTS FOR EXTENSION OF THE JUNE 30, 2011 DEADLINE FOR FUNDING COMMITMENTS UNDER THE UNIVERSAL SERVICE RURAL HEALTH CARE PILOT PROGRAM. (DA No. 11-172). (Dkt No 02-60 ). WCB . Contact: Jamie Susskind at 7400, 0484 TXT
- Released: 08/13/2010. Comment Sought On Request To Permanently Grandfather Rural Health Care Providers That Received Funding Commitments Prior To July 1, 2005 So That They Will Remain Eligible For Universal Service Support. (DA No. 10-1516). (Dkt No 02-60 ). Comments Due: 08/30/2010. Reply Comments Due: 09/13/2010. WCB . Contact: Erica Myers at 7400 or TTY 0484 TXT
- Released: 09/28/2009. Reminder To Rural Health Care Pilot Program Participants Of Filing Requirements And Due Dates For Quarterly Reports. (DA No. 09-2124). (Dkt No 02-60 ). WCB . TXT
- 11/19/07 FCC Launches Initiative to Increase Access to Health Care in Rural America Through Broadband Telehealth.
News Release: Word | Acrobat
Selected Participants: Word | Acrobat
Order: Word | Acrobat
Martin Statement: Word | Acrobat
Copps Statement: Word | Acrobat
Adelstein Statement: Word | Acrobat
Tate Statement: Word | Acrobat
McDowell Statement: Word | Acrobat
- FCC Adopts Pilot Program Under Rural Health Care Mechanism., FCC 9/29/2006
- FCC RFC National Lambda Rails Petition for Reconsideration :: Docket 02-60 :: Comments Due Nov 21, 2006 :: Replies Due Nov. 28
- Fcc Expands Eligibility To Include National Lambdarail's Backbone In Rural Health Care Pilot, FCC 2/9/2007
- FCC RFC National LambdaRail's Petition for Reconsideration Rural Health Care, FCC 11/21/2006
- On October 30, 2006, National LambdaRail, Inc. (NLR) filed a petition for reconsideration or, in the alternative, clarification of the Commission’s Order establishing a rural health care pilot program to encourage the provision of telehealth and telemedicine services throughout the nation. Under the pilot program, selected applicants will receive up to 85 percent of the costs of building state and regional broadband networks and connecting those networks to Internet2, a dedicated nationwide backbone, as well as the costs of the advanced telecommunications and information services that will ride over those networks. In its Petition, NLR asks the Commission to reconsider or clarify its Order “by finding that … the pilot program will also provide funding to support the cost of connecting state and regional networks to NLR.” Through this Public Notice, the Wireline Competition Bureau invites interested parties to comment on the Petition.
- The Commission seeks comment on the proposed modifications to its rules and other changes governing the rural health care universal service support mechanism. Includes consideration of support for Internet access. Comments due 45 days, replies 75 days after publication in fed reg. WC DKT 02- 60 FCC 02- 122 | Program Info |
- FCC NPRM: (85 comments as of Sept 2003)
* Allow urban rate comparison anywhere in the State?
* Support Nursing Homes or Long Term Care Facilities?
* Support Internet Access?
* Should the MAD (maximum allowable distance which was that health care provider's location to the nearest city of 50,000) be extended- eliminated?
* Streamline the Application process?
* Eliminate 28 day posting (frequently only one service provider in market; not competitive)?
* Should ancillary areas go anywhere that they want to?
- Released: July 15, 1998. COMMON CARRIER BUREAU SEEKS COMMENT ON ADMINISTRATION OF FEDERAL UNIVERSAL SERVICE SUPPORT MECHANISMS. (DA No. 98-1336). Dkt No.: 97-21, 96-45. Internet URL: Public Notice Text|Adobe
- COMMENTS DUE AUG 5,
- REPLIES DUE AUG. 12
- "On July 1, 1998, SLC, RHCC and USAC filed a Report and Proposed Plan of Reorganization (Plan) for revising the administrative structure of the federal universal service support mechanisms. RHCC filed a Separate Statement of the Rural Health Care Corporation and Request for Three Changes in the Plan (RHCC Statement), proposing certain modifications to the Plan. An executive summary of the Plan is attached hereto. In this Public Notice, we seek comment from interested parties on issues raised by the Plan and the RHCC Statement. We also seek comment on other issues regarding the administration of the federal universal service support mechanisms, including processes for Commission review of actions by USAC, RHCC and SLC, divestiture of USAC from the National Exchange Carrier Association (NECA), and compensation limitations."
- American Telemedicine Association, Frequently Asked Questions
- Ponemon, Fifth Annual Benchmark Study on Privacy & Security of Healthcare Data (2015)
- Neil Neuberger, Advancing Healthcare through Broadband: Opening Up a World of Possibilities: A White Paper for the Internet Innovation Alliance (2007)
- Fcc Expands Eligibility To Include National Lambdarail's Backbone In Rural Health Care Pilot, FCC 2/9/2007
- FCC Announces Pilot Program to Build Broadband Telehealth Networks, ATSP 10/17/2006
- High-Speed Internet2 Link Revolutionizes Global Medical Education, Newswise 9/29/2006
- Internet2 Backs Advanced Infrastructure for Health Care, GRIDToday 9/29/2006
- FCC expands rural telemedicine program, Topix 1/14/2005
- FCC Expands Availability of Funding for Rural Telemedicine Services., FCC 12/21/2004