FCC’s New Proposal and Its Potential for Telepsychiatry in Underserved Communities
By Samir Malik, executive vice president and general manager, Genoa Healthcare Telepsychiatry
Recently, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) issued a notice of proposed rule for its Connected Care Pilot Program to issue 20 grants of up to $5 million each to support the use of technology to meet four goals:
- Improve health outcomes through connected care
- Reduce health care costs for patients, facilities, and the health care system
- Support the trend towards connected care everywhere
- Determine how FCC Universal Service Fund funding can positively impact existing telehealth initiatives
Today, 80 million Americans still live in Mental Health Professional Shortage Areas, and an overwhelming majority of counties in the country still lack access to a single psychiatrist or advanced practiced registered nurse. The Connected Care Pilot is hopefully the beginning of a larger initiative to improve access to care for the underserved.
We’re especially excited for this program because many of our partners are eligible to participate. We want this pilot to be successful so the FCC will continue to allocate funding for this type of work. The work that our telepsychiatry providers and partners are doing to improve access to behavioral health care for the underserved fits squarely into the goals of the program.
Genoa Healthcare has been able to articulate the value of telehealth to hundreds of clinics, state agencies, health plans and policy makers over the past eight years. We’re here to support organizations that might benefit the most from this program. We’ll help you through the application process, eligibility verification, bid construction or anything else that might be helpful to further the adoption of telehealth.