The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has formed a new group, the Hospital Robocall Protection Group, a “new federal advisory committee dedicated to combatting robocalls to hospitals.” The group will issue best practices addressing: “How voice service providers can better combat unlawful robocalls made to hospitals”; “How hospitals can better protect themselves from such calls, including by using unlawful robocall mitigation techniques”; and “How the Federal Government and State governments can help combat such calls.” The TRACED Act gave the FCC more measures to fight against robocalls; this new group is a direct result of this Act.
“The idea that robocallers would clog up hospital phone lines with a flood of nuisance calls seems unthinkable, but it is a reality,” FCC Chairman Ajit Pai said. “Health care facilities are critically important, especially in the face of the current pandemic, and the last thing they should have to worry about is receiving robocalls that distract from performing their mission— supporting the health and well-being of all Americans. By establishing the Hospital Robocall Protection Group, we’re focusing our efforts on the negative impacts robocalls can have on our health care system. I look forward to working with committee members to find ways to help those who help us.”
The group will abide by the Federal Advisory Committee Act. Group members will be drawn from: “Voice service providers that serve hospitals, companies that focus on mitigating unlawful robocalls, consumer advocacy organizations. providers of one-way voice over internet protocol services as described in subsection (e)(3)(B)(ii) of the TRACED Act, hospitals, state government officials focused on combating unlawful robocalls, one representative of the Commission, and one representative of the Federal Trade Commission.” The variety of expertise is designed to effectively address issues presented before the group.
The FCC has sought nominations for members and a Chair for the group. The deadline for nominations is May 1, 2020. The FCC wants to establish the group by June and hold the first meeting in July. As required in the TRACED Act, best practices will be established within 180 days of commencement.