This past week, the Federal Communications Commission unveiled a new $200 million program to help fund telehealth programs for qualifying providers during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Using funding from the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act, the plan aims to expand telehealth and remote monitoring nationwide as the U.S. combats the coronavirus public health crisis.
Eligible organizations would get full funding for approved “telecommunications services, information services and devices necessary to provide critical connected care” until funds are exhausted or until the pandemic has subsided.
“Prior to this pandemic, telehealth never experienced mass consumer adoption that we’d hoped to see,” one digital health consultant told MobiHealthNews. “Healthcare systems agreed it was important, but deprioritized infrastructure investments. The pandemic has changed all of that in an instant.”
This week, the FCC put forth a public notice meant to help healthcare organizations begin the application process for COVID-19 Telehealth Program funding.
“There are three steps interested providers can take immediately to prepare to apply for the COVID-19 Telehealth Program,” said FCC officials:
Obtain an eligibility determination from the Universal Service Administrative Company
Obtain an FCC Registration Number
Register with the System for Award Management
“If an interested party does not already have these steps and accompanying components completed, the Bureau recommends that it gather the necessary information and begin to complete other necessary steps now, so it is prepared to submit applications for program funding as soon as applications can be accepted for filing,” officials said.
The many details required for each of those steps can be found in FCC’s new public notice.