The Center for Connected Health Policy (CCHP) is a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization working to maximize telehealth’s ability to improve health outcomes, care delivery, and cost effectiveness.

CCHP Newsroom

  • BREAKING: FCC repeals net neutrality rules, potentially affecting telemedicine

    Modern Healthcare

    The FCC voted 3-2 Thursday to repeal net neutrality rules, ending Obama-era regulations that prohibited Internet providers from blocking or slowing web content. Whereas all Internet traffic previously shared same "lane," it can now be split among different lanes with different speeds. Those differing speeds could hurt telemedicine since it requires a "pretty robust connection," said Mei Kwong, interim executive director and policy advisor for the Center for Connected Health Policy. "The last thing you want is for the interaction to suddenly freeze or the audio to go out or for the picture to be pixelated."  Though the FCC could make exceptions for healthcare so it's not subject to the same rules, Kwong and others said, that might still leave patients to fend for themselves.  "What do you do then for the individual who's at home and trying to get services at home?" Kwong asked.  These changes run counter to some recent VA efforts to expand telemedicine, she said. They also run counter to what the majority of Americans want, FCC commissioner Mignon Clyburn said Thursday. "Those very same broadband Internet service providers that the majority says you should trust to do right by you will put profits and shareholders returns above what is best for you," she said.  "When the current protections are abandoned, and the rules that have been officially in place since 2015 are repealed, we will have a Cheshire cat version of net neutrality," Clyburn said. "We will be in a world where regulatory substance fades to black and all that is left is a broadband provider's toothy grin."

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  • FCC's Net Neutrality Change May Have Big Implications for Telehealth

    California Health Care Foundation

    At the December 14, 2017, open commission meeting of the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), commissioners will vote on whether to repeal current net neutrality rules. Such action may have wide-reaching impacts on the use of telehealth. Community health clinics, such as federally qualified health centers (FQHCs) and rural health centers (RHCs), could see higher rates for connectivity that may reduce, eliminate, or discourage them from using telehealth to deliver health care services, especially in rural areas. Additionally, telehealth in the home could be severely curtailed as consumers may face higher prices for connectivity that would be sufficient for a telehealth interaction.  Removal of net neutrality rules could negatively impact several other pieces of telehealth policy that have gained traction in recent months at the federal level. The Department of Veterans Affairs has shown increasing interest in using telehealth regardless of where the provider and patient are located. This has been signaled by House passage of HR 2123, recent introduction in the Senate of the Veterans Community Care and Access Act of 2017, and proposed regulatory changes in the program.

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  • Hospitals Turn to Telemedicine to Tackle ER Triage, Overcrowding

    mHealth Intelligence

    A telemedicine platform that helps emergency departments triage patients just might be the answer to crowded ERs and physician staffing issues.   The virtual visit platform, developed by the Wisconsin-based startup EmOpti, is currently being used in eight hospitals in four health systems: Wisconsin’s Aurora Health Care, MedStar in Washington D.C., Philadelphia’s Thomas Jefferson University Hospitals and Charlotte, N.C.-based Carolinas HealthCare.  In those hospitals, patients admitted to the ED who aren’t immediately seen by a doctor can be seen by secure video-conferencing technology by a doctor or physician assistant in a remote “command center.” The physician or PA examines the patient with the help of on-site triage nurses and can order tests or prescribe medications.

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