Broadband's Impact on Healthcare Outcomes

Healthcare districts service the state’s most vulnerable populations and serve as pillars of their communities’ public health infrastructure. Like so many other providers they rely increasingly on technology to expand and preserve access to care for their patients. This means patients need access to high quality, affordable, high speed internet access.

As health care providers and patients utilize technology to deliver and receive care and, as a mechanism to strengthen care coordination, the health care community is poised to invest and assist with broadband infrastructure in new and exciting ways.

Broadband & COVID-19

The COVID-19 pandemic has increased the utilization of telehealth significantly and proven to be an effective tool to provide primary and specialty care; without broadband, those in rural and underserved areas of the state continue to lack equitable access. 

 “Access to care is an enormous problem…. telehealth is a way to accommodate that”.

 JoDee Reed, CEO of Plumas District Hospital explains the importance of telehealth in increasing access to care.

Why now?

California has made historic and necessary investments in broadband infrastructure. For health care providers, this is a time to think strategically about the role they play in expanding and improving access to the internet for their patients. To take advantage of ongoing broadband efforts and appropriately guide policy as it relates to the intersection of broadband and health, it is important that data collection efforts be made to demonstrate the role of health care providers in broadband and broadband’s impact on health outcomes. To achieve this important work, ACHD is asking the state to fund health care partners, including healthcare districts, at the direction of ITUP to collect data and report back to the legislature on findings, policy recommendations and best practices.

How do we address the lack of data?

ACHD is proud to sponsor a $2,000,000 State General Fund request to support data collection and reporting efforts on the impact of broadband deployment on health outcomes broadly. The ask is championed by Assembly member Aguiar-Curry.

Who is the insure the uninsured project?

For over 25 years, ITUP has been California’s “big tent” health policy convener, educator, and connector organization. ITUP’s vision is that all Californians have the opportunity to live their healthiest lives. Over the past 18 months, ITUP has connected the health sector to the broadband and digital equity spaces through its work with local and statewide coalitions and by creating educational opportunities about the power of connectivity to achieve better health outcomes and health equity.  

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