Link Health and Verizon Team Up to Fight for the Affordable Connectivity Program (ACP) and Bridge the Healthcare Divide.
In a groundbreaking collaboration, Link Health is working with our nation’s ISPs to launch No Patient Left Offline: Healthcare’s Fight to Save the ACP, a bold initiative that underscores the vital role of internet access in achieving healthcare equity and is thrilled to announce Verizon as its first ISP partner.
[Boston, MA] Link Health is working with our nation’s ISPs to launch “No Patient Left Offline: Healthcare’s Fight to Save the ACP“, a bold initiative that underscores the vital role of internet access in achieving healthcare equity and is thrilled to announce Verizon as its first ISP partner. Link Health is excited to announce their strategic partnership with Verizon dedicated to safeguarding and amplifying the Affordable Connectivity Program (ACP), a lifeline that connects patients across the United States to crucial telehealth services.
Congress established the Affordable Connectivity Program (ACP), which is administered by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), with the aim of aiding qualifying households in covering the costs of internet services. This initiative extends support to individuals seeking to access essential services like job opportunities, healthcare resources, and virtual learning environments. The broadband access facilitated by the ACP plays a pivotal role in enabling citizens to engage in online activities such as job seeking, education, healthcare consultations, vocational training, and staying connected with their families and friends.
Addressing the Digital Divide:
Mr. Justin Tanner, Director of Public Policy & Strategic Alliances at Verizon, emphasizes the urgency and importance of this collaboration, stating, “The internet isn’t just a technology; it’s a lifeline for accessing essential healthcare services. By harnessing the power of the healthcare sector, our partnership with Link Health aims to link patients to the ACP, effectively preventing the digital divide from transforming into a health divide.”
Overcoming Healthcare Barriers:
The campaign highlights the prevailing barriers to healthcare access, particularly in underserved rural and low-income communities. Challenges such as medical facility closures, transportation costs, and the inability of working families to attend preventative care appointments continue to hinder health outcomes. While telehealth offers a solution, its success relies on reliable high-speed broadband. Unfortunately, millions cannot afford home internet programs, depriving them of access to telehealth care.
A Partnership Rooted in Meeting Patients Where They Are
ER physician, Link Health Founder, and Harvard Assistant Professor, Dr. Alister Martin, underscores the significance of this partnership, stating, “Modern healthcare is intrinsically linked to internet access. The collaboration between Link Health and Verizon transcends mere connectivity; it’s rooted in compassion, empathy, and ensuring that the ACP reaches those who need it most. Together, we will bridge the digital gap that prevents too many from accessing the quality care they deserve“.
Link Health has made significant strides in promoting health equity through expanded ACP access. Notably, their pilot program has already facilitated ACP screening for over 3,700 patients, resulting in annual benefits exceeding $237,000 for eligible households. The pilot’s success is evident in its partnership with esteemed institutions such as the Dimock Community Health Center, East Boston Neighborhood Health Center, South End Community Health Center, and Massachusetts General Hospital. Link Health’s recent grant to expand its reach to Houston and across Massachusetts underscores its unwavering commitment to healthcare equity.
Furthermore, Link Health has received a significant grant from the Houston Endowment to extend its innovative healthcare model across the entire city of Houston. This grant underscores Link Health’s unwavering commitment to healthcare equity, ensuring that even more individuals can access essential healthcare services through the ACP.
Link Health’s work has been featured at the Aspen Institute, NBC, and the New England Journal of Medicine. Through our partnerships with over 700+ hospitals, clinics, and community health centers we are helping to close the digital divide one patient at a time.
Link Health as a Catalyst for the White House ACP Day of Action
On June 16, 2023, Link Health served as the national coordinating partner for the White House’s Affordable Connectivity Program (ACP) Healthcare Day of Action. In the heart of Boston, the South End Community Health Center kicked off the day with a press briefing on healthcare’s role in amplifying the ACP with speakers that included senior officials from the Biden Administration, the Chief Information Officer for the City of Boston, and local health system leaders. Throughout the day, it led a coordinated campaign of in-person (as above) and digital events, focused on what the healthcare sector can do to help increase ACP enrollments to bridge the digital divide. It brought over 40 healthcare organizations, dozens of healthcare influencers, and clinicians nationwide together around the concept of leveraging the ACP to address health equity.
Link Health’s vision is backed by its origin within A Healthier Democracy, a 501(c)3 incubator at the intersection of health and civic engagement, and it is a program dedicated to health equity, is uniting with global technology and communication leader, Verizon. Together, they aim to rally the healthcare sector around the pivotal role of the ACP. Their collaborative efforts are poised to galvanize a robust healthcare-based coalition advocating for the extension of the ACP.
A Promise of Progress:
The partnership between Link Health and Verizon is a testament to innovation, cooperation, and patient-centered care. In a world driven by digital advancements, both organizations are steadfastly committed to the belief that no patient should be left offline.