Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Center to Coordinate Telehealth

The California HealthCare Foundation (CHCF) has established the California Center for Connected Health (CCCH), a strategy and planning body to lead and coordinate telehealth adoption throughout the state. CCCH will be led by Sandra Shewry, Former Director of the California Department of Health Care Services.

Millions of dollars in new federal and state funds are going to be used to support the expansion of California’s telehealth infrastructure. This includes approximately $30 million investment in broadband and connectivity through the FCC pilot program—the California Telehealth Network, and $200 million in Prop 1D infrastructure financing available to expand telehealth and medical education through the University of California. The Prop 1D funding includes $10 million for a community investment fund to help equip community healthcare sites partner with the University of California to provide for medical services through telehealth.

The FCC and Prop 1D grant funds will expand the telehealth infrastructure, but CCCH will be the coordinating body that will link together many groups and individuals to make telehealth a reality. The CCCH will connect stakeholders, including state agencies, provider groups, and public and private sector organizations, and set the strategy and vision for a sustainable telehealth model in the state. “Working together, we can realize telehealth’s potential to improve access and quality for underserved populations,” said Shewry.