COVID-19 Telehealth Funding

InsightsClient Alert

On April 2, 2020, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) established the COVID-19 Telehealth Program.  As part of the CARES Act, this program will provide $200 million in funding to assist healthcare providers pursuing telehealth in order to provide services to their patients in a remote environment.  The program will provide funding of up to $1 million per eligible healthcare provider for telecommunication services, information services and device costs.  The application process opened Monday, April 13th, and the funding will continue until the program’s funds have been exhausted or the pandemic has ended.  The FCC awarded $3.2 million late last week in the first round of funding and plans to distribute the remainder of the $200 million on a rolling basis.

If you are considering, or have started, developing and pursuing telehealth for your hospital or physician practices during the COVID-19 pandemic, this is an opportunity to fund those initiatives.  Examples of services and equipment that eligible providers may seek funding for include:

  • Telecommunications Services and Broadband Connectivity Services
    • Voice services for health care providers or their patients
  • Information Services
    • Internet connectivity services for health care providers or their patients
    • Remote patient monitoring platforms and services
    • Patient reported outcome platforms
    • Store and forward services (i.e. asynchronous transfer of patient images and data for interpretation by a physician)
    • Platforms and services to provide synchronous video consultation
  • Connected Devices and Equipment
    • Tablets, smart phones, or connected devices to receive connected care services at home for patient or health care provider use
      • Broadband-enabled blood pressure monitors
      • Pulse oximetry monitors
    • Telemedicine kiosks or carts for health care provider sites

The program does not pay for personnel, administrative costs or training costs related to telehealth programs.  You can claim retroactive costs purchased or ordered back to March 13, 2020.

The application process for these funds involves four steps:

Applications will be reviewed in the order they are received.  If you pursue this opportunity, we encourage you to submit detailed plans of your telehealth initiative including how COVID-19 has impacted your facilities and community and detailed costs with support if available (i.e. invoices, proposals, contracts, etc.).  This will serve to decrease the questions from FCC staff and expedite your application processing.  The FCC recommends covering these items as well in your application:

  • The conditions to be treated using the COVID-19 Telehealth Program funding.
  • The goals and objectives for use of the COVID-19 Telehealth Program funding.
  • The timeline for deployment of the proposed service(s) or devices funded by the COVID-19 Telehealth Program.
  • The factors/metrics the applicant will use to help measure the impact of the services and devices funded by the COVID-19 Telehealth Program.
  • The geographic area and population served by the applicant and whether that geographic area has been under any pre-existing strain (e.g., large underserved or low-income patient population; health care provider shortages; rural hospital closures; limited broadband access and/or Internet adoption).
  • The health care providers’ targeting of funding to high-risk and vulnerable patients.

If you are approved for funding from the program, you will submit a monthly invoicing form with supporting documentation to the FCC to be reimbursed for those expenditures.  These will be reviewed by FCC staff, approved and funds issued electronically to the providers.

At Draffin Tucker, we are committed to providing our clients with the latest information related to COVID-19.  Please do not hesitate to contact us with any questions or concerns.  Visit our COVID-19 webpage for more information and updates.

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