Rural Telecom Gets Some Friends In Congressional Places…

A bill that would help rural providers connect to the Interweb has gotten some new friends. (Photo courtesy the fine folks of WikiMedia Commons.)

A bill that would help rural providers connect to the Interweb has gotten some new friends. (Photo courtesy the fine folks of WikiMedia Commons.)

Bill Myers

Washington, D.C.—Good morning, ProviderNation. A bill that would allow skilled nursing centers to compete for tens of millions in government broadband funds has made some new friends.

U.S. Reps. Leonard Lance, R-N.J., Kevin Cramer, R-N.D., and Dave Loebsack, D-Iowa, have fixed their names to a “dear colleague” letter, urging their fellows “to support” the “common sense” behind the Rural Health Care Connectivity Act of 2015. The bill would change federal law so that skilled nursing centers in remote areas could compete for rural health care cash under the Universal Service Fund.

The fund, administered by the Federal Communications Commission, comes from surcharges on your phone and Interweb bills. It’s designed to help subsidize broadband services in areas where there isn’t a clear business case. But, thanks to one of those only-in-Washington kind of things, the FCC decided that they couldn’t share any of the rural health care subsidies with skilled nursing providers. (Don’t ask: the government sometimes works in mysterious ways.)

The letter is procedural: more like the beginning of a long process than the culmination of one. But for providers such as Good Samaritan, who’ve been pushing this boulder up a hill for the better part of two decades, every little bit must be helpful.

Second Wind Makes First Impression

Moving downstream from the high-tech to the low, mad props to the fine folks at Second Wind Dreams, whom you’ve met before. They’ve just inked a deal to provide their shock-and-awe-style training to caregivers at PruittHealth.

PruittHealth CEO Neil Pruitt Jr., says he’s “excited” about the new partnership and is sure that “we can make a positive, lasting difference in the lives of our 24,000 patients.”

Bill Myers is Provider’s senior editor. Email him at wmyers@providermagazine.com. Follow him on Twitter, @ProviderMyers.

 

 

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Filed under health care, Long term care, New Provider, Post-acute care, Uncategorized

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