The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has approved an additional 100 funding applications totaling $47.8 million in the second round of its COVID-19 Telehealth Program.
In a press release, the FCC said it the latest funding approvals mark the final installment of its second round of pandemic-related telehealth funding, which totals $249.9 million. The COVID-19 Telehealth Program reimburses healthcare providers for telecommunications services, information services, and connected devices necessary to enable telehealth during the COVID-19 pandemic.
“The pandemic has forced us to think differently about how to deliver health care services and the FCC has risen to the challenge through a number of telehealth programs, including our COVID-19 Telehealth Program,” said FCC Chairwoman Jessica Rosenworcel in a Jan. 27 press release.
“From offering remote behavioral health services in Decatur, Illinois to supporting the underinsured and those living below the poverty line in Dade City, Florida, the health care providers announced today offer just a snapshot of the breadth of connected health care services this program has helped support in the past year,” she said. “I want to commend the work of our team in the Wireline Competition Bureau for their dedication to this program that has made such an impact on our nation’s doctors, nurses, and their patients.”
The FCC said that the second round of telehealth funding builds on the $200 million program established as part of the CARES Act. The agency noted that it took action last year to develop a system for rating applications by factoring in the hardest-hit and lowest-income areas, Tribal communities, and previously unfunded states and territories. Over the course of two funding rounds, this program has approved 986 awards to providers in each state, territory, and the District of Columbia.