48 Healthcare Organizations Call for Adequate Telemedicine Funding in Next COVID-19 Relief Package April 10, 2020
For Immediate Release
Washington, D.C. (April 10, 2020) - Today, the Schools, Health & Libraries Broadband (SHLB) Coalition and 47 other health organizations endorsed H.R. 6474, the “Healthcare Broadband Expansion During COVID-19 Act” and asked Congress to include this legislation in the next coronavirus relief package. Representatives Anna Eshoo, D-Calif., and Don Young, R-Alaska, introduced the bill to allow healthcare providers across the country to upgrade their broadband capacity and expand telemedicine services to the public.
“The COVID-19 pandemic is having a devastating impact on Americans across the country, and healthcare organizations are under enormous pressure to increase their telemedicine services to meet the needs of patients and medical professionals,” said John Windhausen Jr., executive director of the SHLB Coalition. “The SHLB Coalition estimates that the Federal Communications Commission’s Rural Health Care (RHC) program needs an additional $2 billion in funding to ensure that healthcare institutions can obtain the broadband capacity they need to handle the heightened telehealth demand.
“We applaud Representative Eshoo and Representative Young for introducing this vital legislation to ensure that healthcare services reach everyone. No healthcare provider should have to cut back on its telemedicine offerings because it doesn’t have enough funding for its underlying broadband connection. Congress can guarantee that will not happen by including H.R 6474 in the next COVID-19 relief package.”
The SHLB Coalition also documented its analysis of the $2 billion demand in a separate letter supporting the “Healthcare Broadband Expansion During COVID-19 Act.” The letter estimates the costs of ensuring that healthcare providers in urban and rural areas have the broadband capacity they need to mitigate the impact of the coronavirus pandemic.
The following organizations join SHLB in endorsing the Healthcare Broadband Expansion During COVID-19 Act:
Adair County Health Center
Albemarle Regional Health Service
American Health Care Association
Association of Clinicians for the Underserved
Bon Secours Mercy Health
California Telehealth Network
College of Healthcare Information Management Executives
Colorado Hospital Association
Community Counseling Services
Connections Telehealth Consortium
Daymark Recovery Services
East Central Oklahoma Family Health Center, Inc.
Faith Community Hospital
Field Health System
FirstHealth of the Carolinas
Freeman Health System
Healthcare Leadership Council
Health Information Exchange of Montana
Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society
Hermann Area District Hospital
Jones County Health Department
Lindsay Municipal Hospital
Melissa Memorial Hospital
Nevada Rural Hospital Partners • Liability Cooperative of Nevada
New England Telehealth Consortium
Northampton County Health Department
NorthLakes Community Clinic
HIMSS on behalf of Personal Connected Health Alliance
Pinckneyville Community Hospital
Richmond County Health Department
Rural Health IT Corporation
Rural Wisconsin Health Cooperative
Sandford/Good Samaritan Society
South Central Medical & Resource Center
Southern Ohio Health Care Network
Tahoe Forest Hospital District
Utah Education and Telehealth Network
Utah Navajo Health System, Inc.
Valley Professionals Community Health Center, Inc.
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.