Wednesday, U.S. Senator Todd Young (R-Ind.) welcomed the announcement by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) that a new $100 million “Connected Care Pilot Program” is being established to support telehealth for veterans and Americans in rural and low-income areas. Senator Young hosted FCC Commissioner Carr in Indiana in May to get a firsthand look at the need for continued investments in rural broadband and telehealth. They visited Hancock Health operations in McCordsville and viewed a demonstration from the chief medical officer on how they are able to use telemedicine to collaborate between physicians to diagnose and treat cancer. As a result, cancer patients in this community receive treatment more quickly than they ever have before. Earlier this week, Senator Young sent a letter to Commissioner Carr urging the development of new and innovative programs to expand the use of telemedicine throughout Indiana and the entire country. By enabling patients to seek medical treatment via telemedicine, patients can receive faster, more effective, and more accessible treatment. According to the FCC, a study of 20 remote patient monitoring trials found a 20 percent reduction in all-cause mortality and a 15 percent reduction in heart failure-related hospitalizations. Additionally, the Veterans Health Administration’s remote patient monitoring program resulted in a 25 percent reduction in days of inpatient care and a 19 percent reduction in hospital admission. Telehealth also has the potential to reduce the cost of taxpayer-funded healthcare programs in the long-term. According to the FCC, a telehealth project in the Northeastern U.S. found that every $1 spent on remote monitoring resulted in a $3.30 return in savings. Under the FCC’s new “Connected Care Pilot Program,” healthcare and broadband providers throughout the country would be able to apply for funding to support telehealth projects. The FCC will vote on a Notice of Inquiry at its August Open Meeting that seeks public comment on the next steps for establishing the program.
July 11th, 2018|Local News|