UnityPoint Health - Des Moines

HealthNet connect Frequently Asked Questions

1.    What is HealthNet connect

HealthNet connect is an innovative eHealth consortium of health care entities sharing a common goal of technology-enabled healthcare, providing care at a distance and the secure exchange of medical information by utilizing technology. The foundation is our own private, secure and robust fiber optic network and data center infrastructure. Through HNc Services Inc., HealthNet connect provides broadband, eHealth and IT services to the healthcare community.

 2.    How is HealthNet connect funded?

An initial $7.8 million round of funding was provided by the Federal Communications Commission, through the Rural Healthcare Pilot Program. With this funding HealthNet connect connected close to 80 hospitals and clinics to our fiber optic network throughout the state of Iowa.

In 2014, HealthNet connect applied for additional funding from the new FCC Healthcare Connect Fund, which provides 65% of the cost of connecting to eligible healthcare providers. With this funding we will extend connections to HCP's in Iowa, Nebraska, Illinois, Wisconsin, Missouri and Minnesota.

3.    Who actually provides the broadband and technology services that connect to rural hospitals and clinics?

HealthNet connect owns and operates our own private fiber optic network. We also work with network carriers to facilitate last mile connections from our network.

HealthNet connect is a Telehealth Resource Center, a Private Health Information Exchange and HISP for the participants of our consortium.

Through HNc Services, HealthNet connect provides a range of broadband and technology services such as broadband Internet, cloud services, eHealth services and IT support services.

4.    Who will I call for service and support?

HealthNet connect is a "one stop shop".  We deliver and support all of our services so the participants of our consortium do not have to deal with multiple vendors for their broadband and technology needs. 

Participants only need to call our toll-free support line at (877) 810-4833 anytime day or night.  

5.    If my hospital is getting funds from USAC now via the Primary Rural Health Care Program, how will that work when it's time to become part of the HealthNet connect?

HealthNet connect coordinates the timing, working with each facility and also directly with USAC to agree on the target date to move each facility onto the new network.

6.     What kind of healthcare entities are eligible to be connected to HealthNet connect?

All health care providers and insurers are eligible to be connected to HealthNet connect, however the following are eligible to use grants to help fund the connections:

  • Public and private health care providers 
  • Post-secondary educational institutions offering health care instruction, teaching hospitals, or medical schools
  • Dedicated emergency departments of rural for-profit hospitals
  • Community mental health centers
  • Long-term care centers
  • Healthcare Insurance and Payer providers
  • Home health centers