FCC to Discuss Connected Healthcare

FCC https://www.fcc.gov Commissioner Brendan Carr visited a community healthcare clinic in rural Laurel Fork Virginia. He announced that the FCC on July 10, 2019 will discuss a “Notice of Proposed Rulemaking” to advance the $100 million Connected Care Pilot Program needed to support telehealth for low income Americans living in rural areas and veterans.

“In Laurel Fork, telehealth is already delivering results,” said Commissioner Carr. “Diabetes patients in Laurel Fork participating in a remote telehealth program, saw their A1C levels decline by 2.2 points on average. The Connected Care Pilot Program Pilot Program anticipates building on the success of projects taking place in rural Laurel Fork.”

According to the Commissioner, “Connected Care” has resulted in substantial savings:

  • A remote patient monitoring trial in the Mississippi Delta has established $700,000 in annual savings due to reductions in hospital readmissions alone. If only 20 percent of the state’s diabetic population enrolled in the programs, annual Medicaid savings would be $189 million per year
  • The Veterans Health Administration (VHA) remote patient monitoring program costs $1,600 per patient as compared to more than $13,000 per patient for VHA’s home-based primary services
  • A telehealth project in Northeastern U.S found that every $1 spent on remote monitoring resulted in a $3.30 return in savings
  • Analysts estimate that the widespread use of remote patient technology and virtual doctor visits could save the U.S healthcare system $305 billion annually


“Connected Care Technologies” are also improving health outcomes:

  • A study of 20 remote patient monitoring trials found a 20 percent reduction in all-cause mortality and a 15 percent reduction in heart failure-related hospitalizations
  • The VHA’s remote patient monitoring program has resulted in a 25% reduction in days of inpatient care. A 19% reduction in hospital admissions has resulted for more than 43,000 veterans with conditions such as hypertension, congestive heart failure, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, depression, and PTSD
  • One remote patient monitoring initiative showed a 46% reduction in ER visits, a 53% reduction in hospital admissions, and a 25% shorter length of stay


The FCC action should reduce the impact of broadband as a barrier to telehealth, and promises to remove a major sticking point in negotiating contracts between healthcare providers and the technology companies that make the services possible,” said Sean Sullivan, Attorney in Alston & Bird’s Health Care Group.

The FCC will discuss several topics at their next Commission Meeting open to the public Discussion is scheduled to be held on July 10, 2019 to discuss the “Notice of Proposed Rulemaking” Open meetings are streamed live at https://fcc.gov/live. For the topics to be discussed, go to https://www.fcc.gov/news-events/events/open-commission-meetings.


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