Six hospitals and clinics received the first grants distributed under the Federal Communications Commission’s Covid-19 telehealth program. The $200 million was set aside as part of the CARES Act to help providers roll out telehealth services during the pandemic.
The FCC began accepting applications just a week ago, on April 13. Providers ranging from large health systems to community clinics can apply for the funding to get broadband internet, devices and other needed equipment for telehealth services. The FCC said it will approve applications on a rolling basis until the funds run out.
Six programs were awarded a total of $3.23 million in the first six grants. They include:
The Ochsner Clinic Foundation
Amount: $1 million
The Ochsner Clinic Foundation, a nonprofit supporting Louisiana-based hospital system Ochsner Health, was awarded $1 million to support high-risk patients and vulnerable populations in Louisiana and Mississippi. The funds would also be used for telehealth services to treat Covid-19 patients and slow the spread of the virus to others. Ochsner’s telemedicine program, Ocshner Anywhere Care, has seen a tenfold increase in visits since the pandemic started.
Grady Memorial Hospital
Atlanta-based Grady Memorial Hospital was awarded funding to implement telehealth video visits, remote patient monitoring and virtual visits with hospitalized patients. All of these measures could reduce the amount of personal protective equipment used and prevent people from contracting the virus.
Hudson River HealthCare Inc.
A community health center based in Peerskill, New York, Hudson River HealthCare Inc. plans to use the telehealth to expand its Covid-19 testing and treatment programs. It serves several low-income and uninsured patients in the Hudson Valley, New York City and Long Island.
Mount Sinai Health System
One of New York’s largest health systems, Mount Sinai Health System already had a robust telehealth program in place prior to the pandemic. It will use the grant funding specifically to focus on providing telehealth devices and services to geriatric and palliative patients in New York City who would face an increased risk for Covid-19.
Neighborhood Health Care
Neighborhood Health Care Inc., a group of family practices in Cleveland, Ohio, received funding to provide telemedicine and remote patient monitoring to families affected by Covid-19 in Cleveland’s West Side neighborhoods. The program would target low-income patients with chronic conditions.
UPMC Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh
UPMC Children’s hospital will use the $192,500 in funding to provide telehealth services to children who have received organ transplants, making them immune compromised and at higher risk for Covid-19.
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