FCC seeks further comment on proposed rule for rural health care program

AHA News Now

The Federal Communications Commission will accept additional comments through Aug. 23 on a 2010 proposed rule to reform its Rural Health Care program, which uses universal service fees to support expanded broadband access in rural areas. The proposed changes seek to make greater use of available funds, which have not historically been fully deployed. Among other topics, the FCC seeks input on the broadband needs of rural health care providers, including telemedicine, electronic health records and other telehealth applications, such as training. The notice also asks for comments on issues such as inclusion of urban providers and how to structure the permanent program. Participants in the current pilot program are especially encouraged to comment. AHA submitted comments on the initial notice of proposed rulemaking in September 2010.

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