Feds Fail At Funding Parity for Telehealth For Urban Residents

Media Advisory
July 14, 2020

Craig Settles                                                           

11.9 million urban households have no access to telehealth but Federal agencies earmark billions for broadband and telehealth grants targeted to 3.8 million disconnected rural households. Urban communities seek parity with rural community for telehealth and broadband (highspeed Internet access), funding that tax dollars and telephone bills finance.

In the 111 largest US cities, African Americans and other people of color comprise 75% of the un-connected residents. People are marching in the streets saying how important it is that Black people have an even playing field. Maybe they can detour for a few days to bring this message to Federal agencies that fund the good health of rural communities while missing the mark in their funding of urban health.

Consumers cannot have telehealth without broadband. So any federal or state broadband funding that does not target urban constituents fails to deliver telehealth or broadband to them.

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Posted in broadband policy, digital inclusion, funding broadband, General analysis, Implementation strategies, Legislative action, Strategic thinking, Telehealth, Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Telehealth Strategy To Combat Coronavirus Impact

Use telehealth to fight the Coronavirus pandemic? Sure. However, it’s about mitigating the impact of the virus on local healthcare more than fighting the disease itself.

This technology isn’t just video chat with your doctor. It’s a broadband-lead makeover of your local healthcare environment.

Telehealth is using intranet and Internet networks to diagnose, administer, initiate, assist, monitor, medically intervene, and/or report on the continuum of care (CoC) – that is, everything done medically to get you healed. Telehealth is every point along the CoC that broadband can influence.

But remember – no broadband, NO telehealth!! Historically, communities and co-ops have built broadband networks well, which is good because right now you don’t have a lot of time.
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Telehealth, Barbershops/Salons, Community Broadband Attack “Silent Killer”

FOR RELEASE  March 4, 2020

For more information – 510-387-4176

Barbershops and hair salons using telehealth and high-speed Internet are adding a new flank in the fight against hypertension (high blood pressure), the leading cause of strokes.

Craig Settles, a broadband consultant and stroke survivor saved by telehealth, is conducting telehealth pilot projects in shops and salons to screen for hypertension in Cleveland, OH, Chicago, IL, Wilson, NC, and seven U.S. cities. This digital healthcare delivered by community-owned broadband benefits people where they are and in environments that they trust.

A healthcare provider in the pilot can advise medical action if the customer’s hypertension is serious, though the customer can decline. In Wilson, the DiFrent Level Barber Studio and its owner Kahmahl Simmons are partnering with the Wilson County Health Department to provide services beyond what’s called for in the pilot.

“If a patient is referred to us from the barbershop for further evaluation, they will see one of our Family Nurse Practitioners even if they don’t have insurance,” says Kimberly D. Almkuist, DNP, FNP-c. “Our fee is based on a have a sliding scale for uninsured patients. I feel this project will have a positive impact on our community and will help screen high-risk patients that may not normally see a provider.

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Why You Need Lightning-Fast Broadband for Telehealth

 This month I announced a five-city telehealth pilot project to combat high blood pressure in urban and rural communities. One of the things I’ll assessed is the role of broadband in telehealth.

Why the need for fast broadband for telehealth. “All I need is a smartphone and a cellular hook up, right?” “I’m only sending a few kilobytes of data.” “Why do you need a GoFundMe campaign to study telehealth?”

Why? Perception does not match reality. Telehealth represents a sea-change in healthcare. A lot of that change necessitates fast broadband.

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Telehealth and the Hunt For the Silent Killer

[Broadband Communities Magazine blog post 12/9/19]

140,000 people die from strokes every year! Most of these are caused by hypertension (high blood pressure) and stress. December can be a real killer.

Barbershops probably aren’t the first place you think to hold the line in this fight against hypertension. But you have to go where the people are. Community broadband (highspeed Internet access) and telehealth can get you there.

This month starts a five-city, six-week telehealth pilot project barbershops and hair salons in which urban and rural communities will connect USB blood pressure cuffs to telehealth platforms via community networks in a pilot project to attack hypertension, the leading cause of strokes.

There are several significant benefits for uniting community broadband and telehealth. Telehealth can motivate barbershops’ customers to sign up for broadband, which means new subscriber revenue. For example in one of the pilot cities, 27% Cleveland, Ohio’s 173,025 households don’t have Internet access according to the 2018 American Community Survey. How can telehealth impact community efforts such as Cleveland’s DigitalC, a non-profit ISP with a $20/month, 50 Mbps wireless service that targets underserved neighborhoods?

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The Dollars & Sense of Telehealth for Community Broadband

“Our remote patient monitoring telehealth program has saved the hospital $2.7 million by reducing chronic care patients’ returning to the hospital or needing to go to the ER,” says Lisa Hogan, RN, head of Chronic Care Management Program for Frederick Memorial Hospital in Maryland.

“Studies of hundreds of our patients six months before and six months after they start this program confirms the financial benefits. We have a few patients as young as 35 year. But many of them seniors with our eldest patient being 100.”

Remote patient monitoring (RPM) is one of the more popular telehealth applications. It can enable seniors to add years to their ability to stay in their homes or possibly moving to a nearby senior facility. This will keep a community’s senior ecosystem active and seniors can still maintain a social and economic role within the community.

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Posted in Broadband map, digital divide, digital inclusion, General analysis, Making the business case, Telehealth | Leave a comment

Creating the Future Of Community Broadband: A 2019 Economic Development Study

The International Economic Development Council (IEDC) and started surveying government economic development officials about community broadband’s effect in 2006. Each year the survey has illuminated both the challenges and the benefits of community networks.

This is just a short summary of the complete analysis report. The full report is due mid-July.

What does IEDC the 2019 survey reveal?

Every survey starts with IEDC members highlighting the lay of the land in terms of wireless and wired broadband networks. For the first time, this year’s survey respondents offer feedback on the roles of wireless and co-ops in community broadband.

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New Funding Source for Telehealth and Community-owned Broadband

To meet the heightened demand for telehealth and community-owned broadband, National Community Development Services, (NCDS) Inc. teamed with community broadband expert Craig Settles to raise millions for telehealth and broadband infrastructure.

NCDS has raised over $1.7 Billion for 600 communities in 46 states since the company started economic development fundraising in 1977. NCDS has staff experience and fundraising experience in healthcare.

Mr. Settles is responsible for the needs assessment and pilot testing during community engagements. NCDS manages the fundraising for broadband and telehealth infrastructures. This team also does fundraising for communities that just want the broadband assessment, pilot, and infrastructure.

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Posted in digital divide, Economic Development, funding broadband, Needs analysis, Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Chattanooga Muni Network Trials Telemedicine for Subscribers

“Do not follow where the path may lead. Go instead where there is no path and leave a trail.” Ralph Waldo Emerson.

You can’t have great effective telemedicine without strong Internet connections, the stronger the better. In the other camp, community broadband network owners (cities, co-ops, WISPs, rural ISPs) need creative marketing strategies to ensure their financial sustainability. However, especially among this qualities and co-ops, they may not be used to operating in a competitive environments.

Luckily, there are telemedicine vendors and community network owners stepping up to become trailblazers by establishing marketing partnerships with each other. They are discovering there might be gold in them thar cyber hills.


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When Telehealth and Broadband Collaborate on Policy

I delivered a webinar presentation hosted by Vsee, a telehealth Solutions vendor. The gist of my presentation was, there can only be great telehealth where there is great broadband. Subsequently, effective broadband policy facilitates telehealth and vice versa.

Here are some links to resources, policy and advocacy groups and articles that supplemented my presentation. Feel free to send me additional items that should be included in this list.

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  • Who’s Craig Settles?

    Industry analyst, expert broadband business strategist, runs on-site workshops to help clients create effective broadband plans.

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