FCC Chief Deserves Kudos
September 5, 2013 by InTouch Health
In American politics, a lot of people pay lip-service to telemedicine. But FCC chairman Jessica Rosenworcel is a true believer – and we’re lucky to have her in Washington.
Previous FCC commissioners were a lackluster bunch, barely able to keep the Super Bowl from turning into a “wardrobe malfunction” disaster. But Rosenworcel deserves praise for fostering the Healthcare Connect Fund, which provides grants to partially cover the cost of broadband service to rural communities – a vital step in making telemedicine viable nationwide. The fund offers real choices by covering 65% of the cost of either broadband or healthcare provider-owned networks.
We learned why Rosenworcel is so pro-telemedicine when she spoke at last summer’s ATA Federal Policy Summit in D.C. She noted that she’s the lone lawyer in a family full of doctors, including her father and father-in-law. Then she underscored her commitment to a telemedicine working group comprised of her agency, the FDA and the Office of the National Coordinator for HIT. In a city where cross-agency cooperation is rare, we applaud her efforts to get key players on the same page when it comes to telemedicine.
But by Rosenworcel’s own estimate, there are at least seven other federal agencies that will ultimately help shape telemedicine’s future. Fortunately, the FCC is taking the lead – not just in telemedicine but in efforts to free up broadcast spectrum for a host of healthcare services. For example, the 2360 – 2400 MHz band is now reserved for Medical Body Area Networks that simplify the wireless monitoring of patients.
“Rosenworcel” isn’t a name that rolls easily off the tongue. But it’s easy to see why her name is at the top of the list of telemedicine champions in federal government.