NTCA Member Participates in Congressional Telemedicine Panel

Arlington, Va. (July 20, 2017)—This past Tuesday, ACT | The App Association’s Connected Health Initiative, in cooperation with the Congressional Rural Telecom Working Group and NTCA–The Rural Broadband Association, held a panel discussion on Capitol Hill to discuss the hurtles facing rural telehealth and how to overcome them.

The panel was moderated by Graham Dufault of The App Association and participants included, Lucie Ide, MD, PhD, CEO, representing Rimidi; Paula Boyd, Senior Director, Government and Regulatory Affairs representing Microsoft; and NTCA member Maggie Basgall, Customer Sales Supervisor for Nex-Tech (Lenora, Kansas). The panel agreed that chronic conditions, which account for 75% of nation’s health care costs, are increasing across all ages -- and rural Americans experience more chronic conditions such as diabetes and heart disease than their urban and suburban counterparts. Given the unpredictability of health/medical issues, supplying the 24 million Americans who don’t have access to broadband with the knowledge and support they need is imperative.

In response to a question about the importance of connecting rural Americans to telehealth services, Basgall noted that “while 15% of the U.S. population lives in a rural area, only 10% of the nation’s physician’s practice there, and while there are 134 specialists per every 10,000 urban residents, there are only 40 for every 10,000 rural residents. People in need of specialty care would certainly benefit.”