Telehealth – Telemedicine is the ability to promote healthy behavior and provide medical care remotely using broadband connectivity between facilities, thus expanding access to vital services and improving the quality of care by linking critical expertise to medically-underserved communities. It also has the potential to help control healthcare costs by being able to monitor patients at home (decreasing follow-up visits) and synthesizing volumes of data on treatment protocols to improve patient outcomes. Promoting telehealth-telemedicine services also is an effective strategy to drive broadband deployment into rural communities and encourage adoption at home. CETF was a key partner working with the University of California and a consortium of State agencies, providers, and foundations to establish the California Telehealth Network (CTN). CETF delineated the vision for CTN to grow to a robust network with sufficient scale to become sustainable and function as an agile intermediary to connect medically underserved communities and populations with quality medical resources to improve access and population health.
Highlights of Results:
- CETF provided $3.6 million to match an initial grant of $22.1 million from the FCC to build the CTN network and contributed more than $1 million in operating seed capital as well as pro bono administrative and management support services to ensure success.
- CETF facilitated the establishment of CTN as a non-profit organization and prepared all the essential corporate policies and management procedures to stand up CTN as an independent operating entity. CETF strongly recommends that CTN return to being an independent California-based non-profit with all Directors residing in the state.
- CETF led efforts to secure additional funding for CTN, including helping obtain a $10 million NTIA ARRA grant, facilitating government approvals for UnitedHealth to redirect committed funds, and obtaining a $1 million grant from Kaiser Permanente.
- CETF secured pro bono assistance and provided funding to refine the business plan with a disciplined schedule to reach 1,000 sites by 2018, including a significant increase in participation by safety-net community clinics. CETF worked with CTN to develop the metrics and procedures for regularly tracking CTN utilization for performance accountability.
- CETF funded other healthcare leaders to coordinate services with CTN: UC Merced to connect initial telemedicine sites in the San Joaquin Valley (with California Partnership for the San Joaquin Valley and AT&T), California Dental Association (with Verizon), and Palo Alto Institute for Research and Education.