On April 13, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) began accepting applications for the Commission’s new COVID-19 Telehealth Program which will leverage $200 million to help provide telehealth services to patients in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Counties play an essential role providing health care services in communities by supporting over 900 hospitals and operating over 1,900 public health departments.
The COVID-19 Telehealth Program is not a grant program, but rather a disbursement program for eligible health care providers. Health care providers will be required to submit an invoicing form and supporting documentation in order to receive reimbursement for eligible expenses and services. Click here for filing instructions.
The COVID-19 Telehealth Program is open to health care provider sites that treat patients, whether located in rural or non-rural areas. The COVID-19 Telehealth Program is limited to nonprofit and public eligible health care poviders. Specific eligibility requirements include:
- 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;
- consortia of health care providers consisting of one or more entities falling into the first seven categories.
Health care providers seeking to participate in the COVID-19 Telehealth Program must obtain an eligibility determination from the Universal Service Administrative Company (USAC) for each health care provider site that they include in their application. Interested health care providers that do not already have an eligibility determination can obtain one by filing an FCC Form 460 through USAC’s website.
No deadline has been set for the filing of COVID-19 Telehealth Program applications. The FCC began accepting applications at noon on April 13, and funding decisions will be made on a rolling basis. The FCC will continue to accept and review applications until the funding is exhausted or the current COVID-19 pandemic has ended.
Since accepting applications, the FCC has awarded $3.23 million to six hospitals. Those health care services in the following communities: Atlanta, Ga.; Peekskill, N.Y.; Cleveland, Ohio; New Orleans, La., and Pittsburgh, Pa.