SHLB Petitions FCC to Reconsider Rural Health Care Order November 13, 2019
For Immediate Release
Washington, D.C. (November 13, 2019) - Yesterday, the Schools, Health & Libraries Broadband (SHLB) Coalition petitioned the Federal Communications Commission to reconsider certain portions of its “Promoting Telehealth in Rural America” Report and Order (R&O). The R&O improved the integrity and transparency of the Rural Health Care (RHC) program, but will likely raise the costs of broadband for many rural healthcare providers.
“We avidly support and appreciate the Commission’s effort to improve telemedicine for rural Americans. SHLB Coalition membership includes several healthcare consortia and providers whose mission is to extend the benefits of broadband to the very same small and extremely remote healthcare providers that the Order aims to help. Unfortunately, some of the changes to the RHC program will cause unintended harm to many healthcare providers and patients,” said John Windhausen, executive director of the SHLB Coalition. “The August Order moved the ball forward, but more work is needed to prevent significant rate increases for rural healthcare providers. We ask that the FCC revisit several aspects of the Order to eliminate the discrimination against health care consortia and rectify the rate-setting process for participants in the Telecommunications program.”
The SHLB Coalition is a nonprofit, 501(c)(3) advocacy organization that supports open, affordable, high-quality broadband connections for anchor institutions and their surrounding communities. The SHLB Coalition is based in Washington, D.C. and has a diverse membership of commercial and non-commercial organizations from across the United States. To learn more, visit www.shlb.org.