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FCC Programs Offer $300M in Telehealth Funding

Two new programs adopted by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) make available $300 million in funding to providers to expand access to telehealth services.

Eligible health care providers for both programs include nonprofit and public entities, including hospitals.

COVID-19 Telehealth Program

The short-term COVID-19 Telehealth Program will offer $200 million in immediate relief to providers to purchase broadband connectivity, telecommunications technology, and devices for providing telehealth services. This includes connected devices, such as those used for pulse oximetry and blood pressure monitoring.

FCC’s Wireline Competition Bureau will accept applications on a rolling basis once the Office of Management and Budget completes its expedited review of the application form. Applicants must submit an application through the FCC’s Electronic Comment Filing System.

The agency will disburse funding until funding is exhausted or the COVID-19 pandemic ends.

Connect Care Pilot Program

FCC also is adopting the longer-term Connect Care Pilot Program, first proposed in July 2019, which will provide $100 million to support connected health services and technology for eligible health care providers.

Under the three-year program, the agency will distribute funds to eligible health care providers to expand broadband internet access to offer connected care services to low-income patients and veterans. The funding will cover 85 percent of eligible providers’ costs of connected care services and equipment, which include patient broadband internet access, health care provider broadband data connections, other connected care information services, and certain network equipment.

FCC will provide further information on the timeline for submitting applications through the Electronic Comment Filing System.

Visit the America’s Essential Hospitals coronavirus resource page for more information about the outbreak.

Contact Senior Director of Policy Erin O’Malley at eomalley@essentialhospitals.org or 202.585.0127 with questions.

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About the Author

Shahid Zaman is a senior policy analyst at America's Essential Hospitals.

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