FCC approves $200M telehealth program: 6 things for hospitals to know

The FCC on April 2 voted to adopt a COVID-19 program that will allocate $200 million to equip healthcare providers with telehealth technology and implementation support.

The FCC approved the funding days after it was announced March 30. The program is part of the $2 trillion Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act, which President Donald Trump signed into law March 27. 

Six things to know about the program:

1. Hospitals and health centers can apply for up to $1 million through the program to cover costs for internet-connected monitoring devices, broadband connectivity and telecommunication services.

2. Eligible organizations include medical schools and academic teaching hospitals, nonprofit hospitals, rural health clinics, community health centers and long-term care facilities.

3. Providers' program applications will be accepted on a rolling basis.

4. Organizations located in areas with high numbers of COVID-19 cases will be given priority as well as underfunded institutions with mostly low-income and Medicare patients.

5. FCC also approved the Connected Care pilot program, which will use $100 million of the agency's main budget to promote telehealth services over the next three years.

6. Connected Care is available to providers working on projects for broadband connectivity, network equipment and information services to build interoperable care networks, primarily for low-income or veteran patients. 

More articles on telehealth:
5 health systems offering free telehealth services during COVID-19 pandemic
4 challenges to widespread telemedicine access
Stanford Children's Health now completing 500 virtual visits daily

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