What You Need to Know:
– FCC approves second set of five COVID-10 telehealth program providers, after approving the first set of six providers last week.
– To date, the FCC’s COVID-19 Telehealth Program has funded 11 health care providers in 8 states for a total of $6.94 million in funding.
The Federal Communications Commission’s Wireline Competition Bureau approved an additional five funding applications for the COVID-19 Telehealth Program. Healthcare providers in some of the hardest-hit areas like New York and Michigan will use this $3.71 million in funding to provide telehealth services during the coronavirus pandemic. To date, the FCC’s COVID-19 Telehealth Program has funded 11 health care providers in 8 states for a total of $6.94 million in funding.
As part of the recently-enacted CARES Act, Congress appropriated $200 million for the FCC to support health care providers’ use of telehealth services during this national emergency. And in less than three weeks, the Commission has adopted new rules for this new program, created the application process, opened the application window, and approved the first set of funding requests. The FCC began accepting applications on Monday, April 13. It is continuing to evaluate applications and will distribute additional funding on a rolling basis
COVID-19 Telehealth Program Overview
The $200 million COVID-19 Telehealth Program would immediately support healthcare providers responding to the pandemic by providing eligible healthcare providers support to purchase telecommunications services, information services, and devices necessary to enable the provision of telehealth services during this emergency period. It would provide selected applicants with full funding for these eligible telehealth services and devices. In order to receive funding, eligible healthcare providers would submit a streamlined application to the Commission for this program, and the Commission would award funds to selected applicants on a rolling basis until the funds are exhausted or until the current pandemic has ended.
Here is the second list of approved healthcare providers that were awarded funding:
Banyan Community Health Center, Inc., in Coral Gables, Florida, was awarded $958,270 to serve 24 Medically Underserved Areas in Miami-Dade and Broward counties by providing telehealth services to approximately 2,000 low-income and high-risk patients so that patients can receive medical care at home during the pandemic.
Health Partners of Western Ohio, based in Lima, Ohio, with sixteen locations in Ohio, was awarded $737,098 in funding to provide telehealth services targeted at low-income patients by deploying telemedicine carts so that patients can receive medical care at 71 community locations.
NYU Langone Health, in New York, New York, was awarded $983,772 to employ telehealth in operating rooms and conference room spaces that have been converted into ICUs so doctors and health care providers can carefully monitor ICU patients from separate floors, thus magnifying the finite number of available ICU specialists, reducing exposure to the coronavirus, and maximizing the limited supply of personal protective equipment.
St. John’s Well Child and Family Center, in Los Angeles, California, was awarded $382,331 to treat 21,000 patients in South Los Angeles and the City of Compton through remote patient monitoring, video consults, and voice consults.
The University of Michigan Hospital, in Ann Arbor, Michigan, was awarded $649,000 to implement remote patient monitoring for high risk COVID-19 patients to reduce the need for hospital admissions, and to expand video visit capacity so that patients with and without COVID-19 can receive medical care at home during the pandemic.