White House ACP Week of Action
Link Health is partnering with the White House, Civic Nation, and leading healthcare organizations on the Affordable Connectivity Program (ACP) Week Of Action which leverages the health sector to connect patients to the Affordable Connectivity Program and close the digital divide in healthcare.
Healthcare Day of Action: Friday, June 16 2023
Week of Action: June 14-22 2023
Healthcare Day of Action Friday, June 16
Link Health is the national healthcare convening partner kicking off this healthcare focused day of action during the broader Affordable Connectivity Program (ACP) Week of Action coordinated by our partners at Civic Nation.
The ACP was created through the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law to lower the cost of internet for
students and families. On Friday June 16th, we will help bring healthcare stakeholders together to leverage the health sector to meet this moment and ensure that every eligible household can get connected.
As trusted pillars of the community, healthcare organizations have a unique advantage in increasing enrollment in the ACP. This vital step will ensure patients can actively participate in the benefits offered by telehealth and digital medical innovations.
Why is the ACP important for healthcare?
Despite widespread internet usage in the United States, 15–24% of Americans lack broadband internet connection, a foundational requirement for telehealth and the bevy of other services that underpin the social determinants of health. In fact, access to broadband internet has been considered a “super” social determinant of health (SDoH). This is why it is so critical that healthcare stakeholders spread the word about the ACP.
- Increase in Telehealth: The COVID-19 pandemic ushered in widespread acceptance of telehealth and other digital innovations in medicine and dramatically increased the use of telehealth as an intervention to reach patients. A recent HHS study shows a 63-fold increase in Medicare telehealth utilization and 32-fold increase in behavioral health care through telehealth triggered by the pandemic.
- Digital Health Tools and Telemedicine: According to a report by the American Hospital Association, 76% of U.S. hospitals connect with patients and consulting practitioners at a distance through the use of video and other technology. This means that without internet access, a significant number of patients could miss out on vital healthcare services.
- Healthcare Cost Reduction: A study published in Health Affairs found that telemedicine and digital health interventions could save the U.S. healthcare system an estimated $305 billion annually. This is largely due to reduced hospital readmissions and more efficient care delivery, which are enabled by internet access.
- Healthcare Disparities: According to the Federal Communications Commission, 30% of individuals in rural areas lack access to high-speed internet, compared to only 2% in urban areas. This digital divide exacerbates existing healthcare disparities, as individuals in rural areas often have less access to healthcare services.
- Mental Health Services: A 2019 study published in the Journal of Medical Internet Research found that 80% of internet users have searched for mental health information online. With the rise of digital mental health tools and online therapy, internet access is becoming increasingly important for mental health care.