FCC chairman proposes significant funding increase for Rural Health Care Program

Federal Communications Commission (FCC) Chairman Ajit Pai announced the circulation of a draft order that would increase the annual funding cap for the Rural Health Care Program from the current $400 million to $571 million. The current cap was established in 1997; the increase represents what the funding level would be today if an inflation adjustment had been originally included.

The order would apply the increased cap to the current funding year to immediately address a critical funding crisis and enable rural health care providers to continue offering telemedicine services. It would also adjust the cap annually for inflation and allow unused funds from prior years to be carried forward to future years.