Telehealth is the virtual delivery of a wide variety of healthcare services, health information and health education. Telehealth relies upon consistent, reliable and pervasive broadband.
TH1.1: In collaboration with N.C.’s telehealth organizations, the N.C. Broadband Infrastructure Office should improve education of and marketing for the Health Care Connect Fund among hospitals and healthcare organizations.
TH1.2: The state should advocate that the Federal Communications Commission allow the Health Care Connect Fund to subsidize internal broadband connections and equipment (within buildings/networks).
TH2.1: In collaboration with North Carolina Healthcare Information and Communications Alliance and other N.C. telehealth organizations, the N.C. Broadband Infrastructure Office should endorse and assist in distributing best practices developed by telehealth experts for healthcare providers.
The best practices would include information on how best to incorporate information communication technologies and telehealth services efficiently and effectively into their operations.
Include a list of things they should explore as they explore improving ICT in their healthcare practices.
The best practices should be created by peers, funders and thought leaders in the healthcare industry.
TH3.1: The N.C. General Assembly should review healthcare facility building requirements to assess how broadband infrastructure and connectivity can be incorporated into the construction of healthcare facilities and should mandate construction codes or requirements be updated to accommodate broadband infrastructure.
TH4.1: In collaboration with telehealth experts and healthcare organizations the N.C. Broadband Infrastructure Office should provide education on the reformed Lifeline program to healthcare patients as they leave their place of care.
TH4.2: In collaboration with telehealth experts and healthcare organizations, the N.C. Broadband Infrastructure Office should provide education on providers’ low-cost broadband subscription programs to healthcare patients as they leave their place of care.
TH5.1: In collaboration with telehealth experts and healthcare organizations, the N.C. Broadband Infrastructure Office should design and pilot programs in which healthcare providers send a mi-fi/air card home with patients for remote monitoring during recovery and/or home-based medical care.
TH6.1: The state (governor, N.C. Department of Health and Human Services and the N.C. Broadband Infrastructure Office) should advocate for medical reimbursement changes by the federal government to allow for reimbursements for broadband service when patients are using it to monitor their heath and improve health outcomes.
TH7.1: the N.C. Broadband Infrastructure Office will collaborate with the N.C. Department of Health and Human Services and other stakeholders to develop public-private partnerships to increase telehealth service offerings throughout North Carolina to decrease healthcare costs to organizations and individuals, increase positive health outcomes and reach unserved and vulnerable populations.
TH7.2: The state should allot additional staff to the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services’s Office of Rural Health to increase health IT technical assistance to community partners.