FCC Adopts Increase to Rural Health Care Funding

 

  • Federal Communications Commission (FCC)

WASHINGTON  — The Federal Communications Commission adopted an Order to fully fund all eligible Rural Health Care Program services for the current funding year with an additional $42.19 million in funding. This action will help ensure that healthcare providers have the resources they need to promote telehealth solutions for patients.

The total Rural Health Care Program demand for Funding Year 2019 was $719.48 million, which exceeded the $677.29 million in previously available funding.  The Order permits USAC to carry forward additional unused funds from prior years to cover this funding gap and waives the cap on multi-year commitments and upfront payments that would result in unnecessary reductions in support for rural health care providers and their patients absent the action the Commission took today.

“This is a critically important step that the FCC took today, particularly in light of the coronavirus pandemic," said FCC Chairman Ajit Pai. "COVID-19 presents serious challenges to healthcare providers, and they need every tool in the toolbox at their disposal, particularly the enhanced connectivity that enables them to provide vital healthcare services to the American public. Today’s Order ensures that rural Americans will have access to the health care services they need.”

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