FCC Starts Approving COVID-19 Telehealth Applications

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The FCC approved six telehealth program applications Thursday, three days after opening the filing window. Health care providers in some of the hardest hit areas like New York will use this $3.23 million in funding to provide telehealth services during the coronavirus pandemic.

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. In less than three weeks, the Commission adopted rules for the new program, created the application process, opened the application window, and approved the first set of funding requests. The agency continues to evaluate applications and will distribute additional funding on a rolling basis.  

“Telehealth has emerged as a critical service for health care providers and patients alike during the coronavirus pandemic,” said FCC Chairman Pai. “It promotes social distancing, protects the safety of health care professionals and patients, and frees up space in health care facilities for those who now need it most. I am confident that the funding we approved today will allow the selected health care providers to expand their telehealth efforts, and I look forward to seeing the positive impact they will have in their communities.”

Below is a list of health care providers that were awarded funding:

  •  Grady Memorial Hospital in Atlanta, Georgia, received $727,747 to implement telehealth video visits, virtual check-ins, remote patient monitoring, and e-visits to patient’s hospital rooms, enabling it to continue to provide high quality patient care, keep patients safe in their homes, and reduce the use of personal protective equipment during the COVID-19 pandemic.
  •  Hudson River HealthCare, Inc., in Peekskill, New York, was awarded $753,367 for telehealth services to expand its frontline COVID-19 testing and treatment programs serving a large volume of low-income, uninsured, and/or underinsured patients throughout southeastern New York State, encompassing the Hudson Valley, New York City, and Long Island.
  •  Mount Sinai Health System, in New York City, New York, obtained $312,500 to provide telehealth devices and services to geriatric and palliative patients who are at high risk for COVID-19 throughout New York City’s five boroughs.
  •  Neighborhood Health Care, Inc., in Cleveland, Ohio, was awarded $244,282 to provide telemedicine, connected devices, and remote patient monitoring to patients and families impacted by COVID-19 in the City of Cleveland’s West Side neighborhoods, targeting low-income patients with chronic conditions.
  •  Ochsner Clinic Foundation, in New Orleans, Louisiana, received $1,000,000 for telehealth services and devices to serve high-risk patients and vulnerable populations in Louisiana and Mississippi, to treat COVID-19 patients, and to slow the spread of the virus to others.
  •  UPMC Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh, in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, obtained $192,500 to provide telehealth services to children who have received organ transplants and are thus immune compromised and at high risk for COVID-19.

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