Federal Office of Rural Health Policy Announcements

March 26, 2020

What’s New

FCC Expands Broadband Access in Response to COVID-19The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) announced waivers to its Rural Health Care and E-Rate programs to allow for improved internet capacity, Wi-Fi hotspots, networking gear, or other equipment or services during the coronavirus outbreak.  Other actions by the FCC related to COVID-19 include more funding for the Rural Health Care program and efforts to keep low-income consumers connected.

SAMHSA Lists Online Resources for Treatment and Recovery.  The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) provides a list of help lines, websites, and virtual meeting options to support substance use treatment, as well as resources and information for mental health response to COVID-19.

COVID-19 Toolkit from the National Telehealth Resource CentersThe toolkit explains how telehealth can be used to provide care remotely, as well as what’s covered through public and private insurance.

COVID-19 Resources for Emergency Medical Personnel.  The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has a website with resources for Emergency Medical Services (EMS) personnel.  Separately, the Interstate Commission for EMS Personnel Practice updated the Interstate Licensing Compact to allow EMS operations to cross state borders in response to the crisis.

Rural Response to Coronavirus Disease 2019.  The Rural Health Information Hub has created a guide to help you learn about activities underway to address COVID-19.

CDC Updates on the Coronavirus.  The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) provides daily updates on the Coronavirus with guidance for health providers and local public health officials.