The following is a summary by Winning Strategies Washington on the Federal Communications Commission Order of Approval for the Emergency COVID-19 Telehealth Program.
- The Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act (P.L. 116-136) created, and appropriated $200 million for, the Emergency COVID-19 Telehealth Program under the direction of the FCC.
- On March 31, 2020, the FCC approved a plan to review applications, select participants, and make funding awards under the program.
- Applications will be accepted immediately following the publication of this Order and OMB approval in the Federal Register.
- Funding will be awarded, up to $1 million per applicant, on a rolling basis until exhausted or until the pandemic has ended.
- Applicants that have exhausted initially awarded funding may request additional support.
- Once the FCC’s order and OMB’s approval is printed in the Federal register, the FCC distribute an application form and required certifications.
Emergency COVID-19 Telehealth Program
- Health care providers may use funding to purchase telecommunications services, information services, and devices necessary to provide critical connected care services, whether for treatment of coronavirus or other health conditions during the coronavirus pandemic.
- Funding will be targeted towards areas that have been hardest hit by COVID-19.
- Awards will be made based on the estimated costs of the supported services and connected devices the applicant intends to purchase, as described in each health care provider’s respective application.
- Applicants are not required to purchase only the services and connected devices identified in their applications.
- Applicants are encouraged to show that telemedicine directly aids in the prevention of pandemic spread by facilitating social distancing and similar measures in the community
- post-secondary educational institutions offering health care instruction, teaching hospitals, and medical schools;
- community health centers or health centers providing health care to migrants;
- local health departments or agencies;
- community mental health centers;
- not-for-profit hospitals;
- rural health clinics;
- skilled nursing facilities; or
- consortia of health care providers consisting of one or more entities falling into the first seven categories. eat patients.
Eligible health care providers must submit applications that, at a minimum, contain the information detailed below:
- Health Care Provider Numbers (if available)
- Contact information for the individual that will be responsible for the application (telephone number, mailing address, and email address).
- Description of the anticipated connected care services to be provided, the conditions to be treated, and the goals and objectives.
- Include a brief description of how COVID-19 has impacted your area, your patient population, and the approximate number of patients that could be treated by the health care provider’s connected care services during the COVID-19 pandemic.
- If you intend to use the COVID-19 Telehealth Program funding to treat patients without COVID-19, describe how this would free up your resources that will be used to treat COVID-19 and/or how this would otherwise prevent, prepare for, or respond to the disease by, for example, facilitating social distancing.
- Description of the estimated number of patients to be treated.
- Description of the telecommunications services, information services, or “devices necessary to enable the provision of telehealth services” requested, the total amount of funding requested, as well as the total monthly amount of funding requested for each eligible item.
- If requesting funding for devices, description of all types of devices for which funding is requested, how the devices are integral to patient care, and whether the devices are for patient use or for the health care provider’s use. As noted above, monitoring devices (e.g., pulse-ox, BP monitoring devices) will only be funded if they are themselves connected.
- Supporting documentation for the costs indicated in their application, such as a vendor or service provider quote, invoice, or similar information.
- A timeline for deployment of the proposed service(s) and a summary of the factors the applicant intends to track that can help measure the real impact supported services and devices.
- COVID-19 Telehealth Program applications must reference WC Docket No. 20-89, and must be filed electronically using the Internet by accessing ECFS, https://www.fcc.gov/ecfs.
- All filings must be addressed to the Commission’s Secretary, Office of the Secretary, Federal Communications Commission.
- Applicants must obtain an eligibility determination by filling an FCC Form 460 with the Universal Service Administrative Company (USAC).
- Applications may be submitted while the FCC Form 460 is pending