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FCC Approves First Set of COVID-19 Telehealth Funding Program Applications

Commission Begins Approving Funding To Boost Telehealth During Coronavirus Pandemic Just Three Days After Opening of Application Window

WASHINGTON–The Federal Communications Commission’s Wireline Competition Bureau today approved six funding applications for the COVID-19 Telehealth Program. 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. 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.

“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 in New York, Louisiana, Pennsylvania, and elsewhere.

“I also want to thank Commission staff who are working hard to review the large number of applications we have already received and were able to process the first set of approvals in only three days. Going forward, we will continue processing funding requests as quickly as we can in order to promote worthy telehealth projects across the country during this national emergency,” said Pai.

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

Grady Memorial Hospital in Atlanta, GA, was awarded $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, NY, 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, NY, was awarded $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, LA, was awarded $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, PA, was awarded $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.

This funding opportunity will expand provider access to telecommunication services, broadband connectivity and devices needed to boost telehealth services during the coronavirus pandemic. The FCC Telehealth Program application process is open to non-profit organizations including post-secondary educational institutions offering healthcare instruction, teaching hospitals and medical schools, community health centers, local health departments or agencies, community mental health centers, not-for-profit hospitals, rural health clinics, skilled nursing facilities or consortia of healthcare providers consisting of one or more entities falling into the first seven categories.

Frequently asked questions are answered in the FCC Telehealth Program FAQ document here.