day's Regulatory Mix: The FCC, Department of Health, and Department of Agriculture Team Up for Rural Health, The FTC Signs Antitrust Cooperation Framework with Australia, Canada, New Zealand, and the United Kingdom
The FCC, Department of Health, and Department of Agriculture Team Up for Rural Health
The FCC announced that it has partnered with the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) and U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) and signed a Memorandum of Understanding on the Rural Telehealth Initiative, a joint effort to collaborate and share information to address health disparities, resolve service provider challenges, and promote broadband services and technology to rural areas in America. This action delivers on President Trump’s recently signed Executive Order on Improving Rural Health and Telehealth Access. The ongoing coronavirus pandemic has highlighted the critical importance of telehealth in delivering quality healthcare to rural Americans.
“From the beginning of my tenure at the FCC, I’ve heard and shared the view that telemedicine is a game-changer for rural America. The COVID-19 pandemic has made the rural healthcare challenge even more serious and has complicated healthcare providers’ efforts to serve rural Americans,” said FCC Chairman Ajit Pai. “More than ever, these areas of the country need enhanced connectivity to provide vital health services to residents. With the adoption of the $200 million COVID-19 Telehealth Program, the FCC acted quickly to approve 539 funding applications for a wide array of health care providers, including community health centers, mental health clinics, and non-profit hospital systems in both rural and urban areas of the country. This effort allowed for more patients to be treated at home, freeing up valuable hospital beds for those who most need them, and reducing the risk of exposure to the virus. By joining forces with HHS and USDA, the FCC is extending its commitment to connect rural Americans to telehealth services—today and into the future.”
The FTC Signs Antitrust Cooperation Framework with Australia, Canada, New Zealand, and the United Kingdom
In a news release, the FTC announced the signing of a Multilateral Mutual Assistance and Cooperation Framework for Competition Authorities among the FTC, the Department of Justice, and competition agencies in Australia, Canada, New Zealand, and the United Kingdom.
The Framework aims to strengthen cooperation among the signatories and provides the basis for a contemplated series of agreements that would permit sharing confidential information and using compulsory process to aid each other’s antitrust investigations.
“I am delighted to join my counterparts from Australia, Canada, New Zealand, the United Kingdom, and the Department of Justice in launching this Framework, which represents a new benchmark in cross-border antitrust cooperation,” Chairman Simons said. “It seeks to pave the way for better access to information and investigative assistance from the FTC’s counterparts, while ensuring strong confidentiality safeguards.”
Building on the antitrust agencies’ cooperation arrangements, the Framework includes a memorandum of understanding, focused on reinforcing and improving existing coordination and collaboration tools among the agencies, and a model agreement. The model agreement is expected to serve as a template for subsequent agreements among signatories that would permit enhanced cooperation, such as sharing confidential information and cross-border evidence gathering. The U.S. antitrust agencies are authorized to enter into such agreements under the International Antitrust Enforcement Assistance Act of 1994.
The Regulatory Mix, Inteserra’s blog of telecom related regulatory activities, is a snapshot of PUC, FCC, legislative, and occasionally court issues that our regulatory monitoring team uncovers each day. Depending on their significance, some items may be the subject of an Inteserra Briefing.