Welcome to the Boston Initiative of Link Health!
We are on a mission to revolutionize healthcare access by addressing the digital divide and connecting patients to the Affordable Connectivity Program (ACP). Our organization is based in the vibrant city of Boston, Massachusetts, and we also operate in the great state of Texas. With an unwavering commitment to improving healthcare access for all, we harness the power of connectivity to create a more equitable future.
Addressing the Digital Divide in Healthcare
The COVID-19 pandemic prompted a seismic shift in healthcare, accelerating the adoption of telehealth and digital innovations. Telehealth emerged as a lifeline, enabling healthcare providers to reach patients during these challenging times. The impact was staggering, with a recent study by the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) revealing a 63-fold increase in Medicare telehealth utilization and a 32-fold increase in behavioral health care through telehealth, all catalyzed by the pandemic.
However, there is a glaring issue: access to broadband internet is the linchpin for telehealth and numerous other services crucial for the social determinants of health (SDOH). Shockingly, 15–24% of Americans are still without a broadband internet connection. Broadband access has been categorized as a “super” SDOH. Recognizing this digital divide, the Affordable Connectivity Program (ACP) was created.
The Affordable Connectivity Program, established by the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, provides vital subsidies to lower-income households. Eligible households can receive $30 per month, with a higher subsidy of $75 per month for those residing on Tribal Lands. Additionally, a one-time $100 subsidy is offered for a connected device. Astonishingly, 51.6 million households qualify for the ACP, yet only 20.5% have enrolled. Furthermore, a mere 13% of Medicaid patients have taken advantage of this program.
Link Health’s Mission and Impact
At Link Health, our mission is clear: we leverage the healthcare sector to connect patients to the ACP and close the digital divide. To date, we have partnered with over 700 hospitals, clinics, and community health centers, helping over 2,000 individuals receive their $30 monthly benefit.
Our groundbreaking work has garnered attention from prestigious organizations like the Aspen Institute, NBC, and the New England Journal of Medicine. Link Health’s vision is strongly supported by its origin within A Healthier Democracy, a 501(c)(3) incubator, underscoring our commitment to promoting health equity and civic involvement.
We work closely with community centers, where Link Health staff directly enroll patients into the ACP during their waiting room visits. This program also includes sending text message blasts about the ACP to patients, managed by Link Health staff to minimize the burden on health center staff.
ER physician and Harvard Professor, Dr. Alister Martin, founded this organization, embodying our commitment to promoting health equity and civic involvement.
Our journey is marked by a dedication to bridging the digital and health equity gaps, bringing affordable internet access to those who need it most. Through strategic partnerships, innovative approaches, and a tireless commitment to healthcare access, Link Health is making a profound impact in communities across Boston and beyond.
Inclusivity is at the heart of our mission. We recognize the importance of considering the diverse backgrounds and experiences of the communities we serve.
We are dedicated to serving a diverse population and striving for equitable access to vital resources, regardless of patients’ backgrounds. We firmly believe that by addressing the digital divide comprehensively, we can build a more inclusive and connected future for all.
Stay in touch!
For further insights into Link Health’s Houston initiative, please reach out to email@example.com.
Together, let’s transform healthcare access and foster a future where connectivity knows no bounds.