FCC Adopts Proposals to Improve Digital Health Support in Rural America


To support rural health care providers, the FCC has approved several proposals for the FCC’s Rural Health Care (RHC) Program, which expands access to telemedicine and telehealth services by providing financial support to eligible health care providers for high-speed broadband and telecommunications services. 

The adopted proposals include: (1) granting petitions for reconsideration to reinstate the prior rate determination rules for the RHC Telecom Program; (2) revising the RHC Telecom Program invoicing processes; (3) amending the internal cap application and prioritization rules; and (4) dismissing certain Applications for Review regarding guidance to the Universal Service Administrative Company.  These proposals will make it easier for health care providers to receive support and reduce delays in RHC program funding commitments. 

The Commission has also adopted a Second Further Notice of Proposed Rulemaking seeking comment on: (1) revising the rules for determining rural and urban rates in the RHC Telecom Program; (2) reinstating the cap on support for satellite services in the Telecom Program; and (3) making it easier for health care providers to receive RHC Program funding.

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