On Monday, FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski announced that there will be upwards of a $400 million Healthcare Connect Fund. The FCC’s new Healthcare Connect Fund will spur the build out of broadband networks to support telemedicine. This will help connect rural clinics and providers to urban medical hubs and allow for immediate access to EHRs.
Goals – as stated by the FCC – of the new program are to:
- Increase access to broadband for health care providers (HCPs), especially those serving rural areas.
- Foster development and deployment of broadband health care networks.
- Maximize impact of the FCC’s universal service health care funding.
The fund will specifically support broadband connectivity for health care providers, “encourage formation of state and regional health care consortia to save costs and expand access to health care, and provide a 65% discount of broadband services, equipment, connections to research and education networks.”