Senators Introduce Bill to Expand Rural Telehealth Services | Healthcare Informatics Magazine | Health IT | Information Technology Skip to content Skip to navigation

Senators Introduce Bill to Expand Rural Telehealth Services

June 23, 2017
by Heather Landi
| Reprints

U.S. Senators Roger Wicker (R-Miss.) and Brian Schatz (D-Hawaii) have introduced bipartisan legislation to expand access to rural telehealth services. The bill would allow non-rural hospitals serving rural areas to qualify for support from the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) Healthcare Connect Fund (HCF).

The “Reaching Underserved Rural Areas to Lead on Telehealth Act (RURAL),” S. 1377, would update existing law to allow non-rural members of telehealth consortia to qualify for the 65 percent health-care provider broadband connectivity discount under the HCF as long as a majority of the locations within a group are serving patients in rural areas, according to a press release from Sen. Wicker’s office.

“Telehealth services are critical to increasing rural Americans’ access to quality care,” Senator Wicker said in a statement. “Mississippi is leading the nation in developing telehealth technology. Our health-care providers have demonstrated that targeted investments in telehealth can increase access to life-saving services and drive down costs.”

“Our bill will give telehealth service providers better incentives to serve more rural areas,” Senator Schatz said in a prepared statement. “Ultimately, that is good news for anyone who cares about expanding access to health care in Hawai‘i and other rural areas across the country.”

In 2013, Congress established the HCF as part of the Universal Service Fund (USF) to provide support for advanced telecommunications and information services for eligible health-care providers. Providers use these services to deliver telemedicine, transmit health records, and conduct other telehealth activities for improving patient care and reducing health-care costs.

In 2016, Wicker introduced similar legislation with Schatz.

2018 Raleigh Health IT Summit

Renowned leaders in U.S. and North American healthcare gather throughout the year to present important information and share insights at the Healthcare Informatics Health IT Summits.

September 27 - 28, 2018 | Raleigh

Topics

News

Study will Leverage Connecticut HIE to Help Prevent Suicides

A new study will aim to leverage CTHealthLink, a physician-led health information exchange (HIE) in Connecticut, to help identify the factors leading to suicide and to ultimately help prevent those deaths.

Duke Health First to Achieve HIMSS Stage 7 Rating in Analytics

North Carolina-based Duke Health has become the first U.S. healthcare institution to be awarded the highest honor for analytic capabilities by HIMSS Analytics.

NIH Releases First Dataset from Adolescent Brain Development Study

The National Institutes of Health (NIH) announced the release of the first dataset from the Adolescent Brain Cognitive Development (ABCD) study, which will enable scientists to conduct research on the many factors that influence brain, cognitive, social, and emotional development.

Boston Children's Accelerates Data-Driven Approach to Clinical Research

In an effort to bring a more data-driven approach to clinical research, Boston Children’s Hospital has joined the TriNetX global health research network.

Paper Records, Films Most Common Type of Healthcare Data Breach, Study Finds

Despite the high level of hospital adoption of electronic health records and federal incentives to do so, paper and films were the most frequent location of breached data in hospitals, according to a recent study.

AHA Appoints Senior Advisor for Cybersecurity and Risk

The American Hospital Association (AHA) has announced that John Riggi has joined the association as senior advisor for cybersecurity and risk.