FCC's Telehealth COVID-19 Funds

Legislation | April 17, 2020 | by Andrea Price-Carter

The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) announced the establishment of the COVID-19 Telehealth Program to support healthcare providers. The program might be an opportunity to help LeadingAge members with skilled nursing facilities with funds to provide telehealth services to residents in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The FCC’s $200 million program, that was included in the CARES Act, will only help fund monitoring devices that are already connected and able to automatically share data. The FCC began accepting applications for the Telehealth program on April 13.  Examples of eligible services and connected devices that the COVID-19 Telehealth Program applicants 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; store and forward services, such as asynchronous transfer of patient images and data for interpretation by a physician.
  • Connected Devices/Equipment: Tablets, smart phones, or connected devices to receive connected care services at home (e.g., broadband-enabled blood pressure monitors; pulse oximetry monitors) for patient or health care provider use.

Health care providers seeking to participate in the COVID-19 Telehealth Program can obtain additional background and information on the application process from the Frequently Asked Questions.