Today’s Regulatory Mix:  FCC Announces 36 Newly Approved Connected Care Pilot Program Projects, Oregon House Bill 2417 Includes National Suicide Prevention Lifeline Participation


FCC Announces 36 Newly Approved Connected Care Pilot Program Projects

The Federal Communications Commission approved a Public Notice announcing its third set of approved Connected Care Pilot Program projects. These 36 projects were approved for a total of $15,337,689 in funding. The newly selected Pilot projects join an additional 57 projects approved earlier this year, bringing the total to over $69.3 million in funding for projects serving patients in 36 states plus Washington, DC.

Telehealth has assumed an increasingly critical role in health care delivery, enabling patients to access health care services without needing to visit a health care provider’s medical office. Among other benefits, connected care services, delivered via a broadband internet access  connection directly to the patient’s home or mobile location, also can help contain and treat health conditions during public health emergencies, such as the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.  The Pilot Program will make available up to $100 million from the Universal Service Fund over a three-year period for selected pilot projects to help defray the costs of providing certain telehealth services for eligible health care providers, with a particular emphasis on providing connected care services to low-income and veteran patients.


Oregon House Bill 2417 includes National Suicide Prevention Lifeline Participation

The Oregon Legislature enacted House Bill 2417 to expand crisis stabilization services in the state including participation in the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline network. The bill includes immediate appropriations totaling $15 million dollars from the state’s General Fund for the biennium (July 1, 2021, through June 30, 2023). Under the new law, the Oregon Health Authority (Authority) is directed to provide recommendations, including legislative changes and funding, to implement the National Suicide Hotline Designation Act of 2020 and establish a statewide coordinated crisis services system. Recommendations from the Authority are due to the Legislature by January 1, 2022.


The Regulatory Mix, Inteserra’s blog of telecom related regulatory activities, is a snapshot of PUC, FCC, legislative, and occasionally court issues that our regulatory monitoring team uncovers each day. Depending on their significance, some items may be the subject of an Inteserra Briefing.