LGBT Tech Statement on the Establishment of FCC Connected Care Pilot
Updated: Oct 14, 2020
The FCC last week voted to adopt a $200 million telehealth program to support healthcare providers responding to the COVID-19 pandemic. As part of this proceeding, the FCC also voted to establish a Connected Care Pilot Program. This separate three-year Pilot Program will provide up to $100 million of support from the Universal Service Fund (USF) to help defray health care providers’ costs of providing connected care services and to help assess how the USF can be used in the long-term to support telehealth.
LGBT Tech applauds Commissioner Carr for leading this initiative and specifically for focusing the $100 million pilot on low-income Americans and veterans. The LGBTQ+ community is especially vulnerable during this time and this program can be a great benefit to LGBTQ individuals across the country, including LGBTQ+ individuals in rural communities, especially during this pandemic. Mental health issues for LGBTQ+ individuals can be greatly aggravated as social isolation and the need to shelter in place can have unintended negative consequences (such as LGBTQ+ youth coming out to a hostile family and now having to remain with them in 24-hour isolation). For many, going home and staying home is not a solution and can lead to increased mental stress and anguish. In addition, for transgender individuals, who face hostility and isolation already, telehealth programs such as the Connected Care Pilot Program can be lifesaving during this time when they may not have access to in-person medica