Sunday, June 29, 2008

Telehealth Network to Expand

Nearly 400 clinics have expressed interest in participating in the California Telehealth Network to provide broadband connections for rural telehealth. The $30 million project was the second largest project funded by the FCC under their $417 million initiative launched last November. The FCC awarded $22 million to CTN which is also receiving funds from the California Emerging Technology Fund and UnitedHealth Group Inc.

Over the next three years, the CTN will begin to connect primarily rural clinics to a telehealth network with a goal of connecting 100 clinics in the first year. The project is to be co-managed by the University of California Office of the President and the UC Davis Health System and is working in partnership with a coalition of government agencies, healthcare providers, and others.

The CTN is available to both for profit and non-profit facilities in the state. In addition to receiving a free connection to the broadband network, participating facilities will receive technical support and may have some capital equipment costs offset as well.

Healthcare facilities interested in participating must take two initial steps. They must complete an online readiness survey and submit a brief Letter of Agency (LOA) document that expresses interest in participating. The deadline for submitting the LOA is July 30. Most of the clinics have already completed the readiness survey, but many have not yet submitted a LOA. “It is important for the project to have as many LOAs as possible in order to secure the maximum available federal funding”, said Cathryn Nation, MD, Associate Vice President for Health Sciences with the UC Office of the President and co-director for the project.

For more information, go to or call the hotline number (916) 734-3008.