Rural Health Care

Coordination with HHS

The Federal Communications Commission's (FCC) 2007 Rural Health Care (RHC) Pilot Program Selection Order requires selected participants to coordinate the use of their health care networks with the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) and, in particular, with its Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in instances of national, regional, or local public health emergencies (e.g., pandemics, bioterrorism).

In such instances, where feasible, selected participants shall provide access to their supported networks to HHS, including CDC, and other public health officials. Similarly, selected participants shall use Pilot Program funding in ways that are consistent with HHS' health information technology (health IT) initiatives that "provide leadership for the development and nationwide implementation of an interoperable health information technology infrastructure to improve the quality and efficiency of health care." Detailed information concerning coordination with HHS health IT initiatives can be found in paragraphs 81 and 82 of the RHC Pilot Program Selection Order.