Telehealth Recommendations

Connecting North Carolina: State Broadband Plan

 

Broadband and Telehealth

  • 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.

RECOMMENDATION 1: Better Leverage the Healthcare Connect Fund.

TH1.1 | In collaboration with NC’s telehealth organizations, BIO should improve education of and marketing for the Health Care Connect Fund (HCF) among hospitals and healthcare organizations.

TH1.2 | The state should advocate that the FCC allow HCF to subsidize internal broadband connections and equipment (within buildings/networks).

RECOMMENDATION 2: Create telehealth best practices for healthcare providers.

TH2.1 | In collaboration with North Carolina Healthcare Information and Communications Alliance and other NC telehealth organizations, BIO 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.

RECOMMENDATION 3: Broadband to all healthcare facilities.

TH3.1 | NCGA should review healthcare facility building requirements to assess how broadband infrastructure and connectivity can be incorporated into the construction of healthcare facilities and mandate construction codes or requirements be updated to accommodate broadband infrastructure.

RECOMMENDATION 4: Healthcare providers market low-cost options for broadband at patients’ homes.

TH4.1 | In collaboration with telehealth experts and healthcare organizations BIO 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, BIO should provide education on providers’ low-cost broadband subscription programs to healthcare patients as they leave their place of care.

RECOMMENDATION 5: Remote Monitoring Pilots.

TH5.1 | In collaboration with telehealth experts and healthcare organizations, BIO 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.

RECOMMENDATION 6: Medical reimbursements for broadband service.

TH6.1 | The state (Governor, DHHS, and BIO) should advocate for medical reimbursement change to the federal government to allow for reimbursements for broadband service when patients are using it to monitor their heath and improve health outcomes.

RECOMMENDATION 7: Develop public-private partnerships to increase infiltration of telehealth services into the healthcare system.

TH7.1 | BIO will collaborate with DHHS and other stakeholders to develop public-private-partnerships to increase telehealth service offerings throughout NC to decrease healthcare costs to the 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.

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