FCC Announces up to $400M in Funding to Create, Expand Telemedicine Networks

The Federal Communications Commission has announced that up to $400 million in annual funding will be made available to healthcare providers as part of its new Healthcare Connect Fund.

FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski made the announcement at the Children's Hospital & Research Center Oakland (Calif.) Jan. 7.

According to the report, the FCC's Healthcare Connect Fund will begin in 2013 to spur the development of broadband networks to support telemedicine, link rural clinics to urban medical centers and provide access to health records.

Specifically, the fund will:

• Support broadband connectivity and broadband networks for healthcare providers.
• Encourage the formation of state and regional healthcare consortia to save costs and expand access to healthcare.
• Provide a 65 percent discount on broadband services, equipment, connections to research and education networks and healthcare provider-constructed and -owned facilities.  

The FCC will begin accepting applications for the Healthcare Connect Fund in late summer 2013. Public or non-profit hospitals, rural health clinics, community health centers, community mental health centers, local health departments or agencies, post-secondary educational institutions, teaching hospitals and medical schools will be eligible for the fund.

More Articles on Broadband Networks for Telemedicine:

Telehealth Market Poised for Increased Competition, Report Says
12 Elements to Support a Viable Health IT and Telehealth Infrastructure
Telehealth Would Get Increased Federal Support Under Proposed House Bill

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