In an iHealthBeat special report, Michael Liang -- California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger's (R) deputy secretary for IT -- discussed California's proposal for a statewide telemedicine network.
The $39 million California Telehealth Network proposal is the largest request submitted under the Federal Communication Commission's Rural Health Care Pilot Program, which awards grants for projects that help patients in rural area access providers.
California's plan would use a broadband network to link 319 health care sites over three years, with plans to eventually expand access to all providers in the state.
Schwarzenegger has touted the initiative as a keystone in his health care IT plan. Even if the FCC funding falls through, stakeholders said there is sufficient momentum to follow through with the project by seeking financial support from other sources.
The iHealthBeat Special Report also includes comments from:
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- Jana Katz Bell, assistant dean of the University of California-Davis School of Medicine and a developer of the UC-David Center for Health and Technology; and
- Dr. Richard Bakalar, president of the American Telemedicine Association and chief medical officer for IBM's Global Innovation Team (Rebillot, iHealthBeat, 5/15).