telehealth

The FCC late last week approved a Report and Order that provides guidance on the $100 million Connected Care Pilot Program. In addition the commission voted to approve 36 FCC Connected Care projects totaling more than $31 million in funding.

Added to 23 pilots funded earlier this year, the FCC has approved more than $57 million for 59 pilot projects that will serve 30 states and Washington, D.C.

The guidance included information on eligible services, network equipment, competitive bidding, invoicing, data reporting, requesting funding, receiving funding commitments, making changes to projects, and seeking reimbursement through submitting invoices.

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The monies are being made available through the Universal Service Fund over a three-year period.

The majority of the newly approved pilot projects will receive less than $1 million, but there are eight projects that will receive more than $1 million., including four that will receive more than $2 million.

The four FCC Connected Care pilot projects slated to receive the most funding are:

  • Catholic Health Initiatives, a consortium with 36 sites in Arkansas, Iowa, Kentucky, Minnesota, North Dakota, and Nebraska will use $6,183,189 in support to provide patient-based, Internet-connected remote monitoring, video visits, and remote treatment to vulnerable populations, especially low-income rural residents in Medically Underserved Areas (MUAs) and/or Health Professional Shortage Areas (HPSAs) for Primary Care. The program will serve an estimated 3,000 patients, 90% of whom lack adequate broadband access, across 36 rural sites in six states.
  • Central Peninsula Hospital (Soldotna, AK) seeks $3,300,839 in Connected Care support to provide patient-based, internet-connected remote monitoring, other monitoring, video visits, diagnostics including imaging, remote treatment and other services for veterans and low-income patients suffering from chronic conditions, high-risk pregnancy/maternal health, infectious diseases including COVID-19, mental health conditions, and opioid dependency. The project could reach an estimated 28,706 patients across Alaska, 40% of whom are low-income patients and 20% of whom may be veterans.
  • Housing Works Health Services III, Inc. (on behalf of Engage Well IPA C-19, a consortium with 32 sites in New York City, NY) will use $2,527,220 in Connected Care Pilot Program funding to provide connected care services including video visits and remote treatment, to treat a variety of conditions, including chronic or long-term conditions, infectious diseases (including COVID-19), mental health conditions, and opioid dependency through 32 community health centers and community mental health centers in New York City. The pilot project would serve 25,836 patients, and estimates that 100% of the participating patients would be low-income.
  • The Upstate Consortium (a consortium with 18 sites in the Syracuse, NY region) seeks $2,050,200 in Connected Care support to provide video consults and remote patient monitoring services to patients suffering from a range of conditions, including diabetes and other chronic conditions, stroke, behavioral health conditions, infectious diseases, opioid dependency, maternal health conditions, and high-risk pregnancy. Upstate Consortium’s Pilot project would reach an estimated 97,500 patients in Central New York, including rural areas, 45% of whom are low-income. Approximately 250 patients will receive patient broadband through Upstate Consortium’s Pilot project.

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