The FCC has announced the approval of 72 more funding applications totaling $41,113,186 in the second round of the COVID-19 Telehealth Program. The awards follow a previous round 2 funding announcement of almost $42 million, which was made in late August.
The highest awards in the second round were for $1,000,000. Five entities each received a one million dollar award: Adventist Health System West (serving California, Hawaii, and Oregon); The Brighter Beginnings Richmond Family Health Clinic (Philadelphia); the Carolina Community Health Center (Wilson, NC); Lee Memorial Health System (Fort Myers, FL) and Tampa General Hospital (Tampa, FL). Other awards fell just short of the $1 million level.
The smallest award was made to the Family Health Centers of Southwest Florida (Fort Myers) which will be provided with $13,801 to purchase computers and smartphones to provide telemedicine and synchronous telehealth services.
“The FCC has now approved a total of over $83 million in funding applications for Round 2 of its COVID-19 Telehealth Program,” Acting Chairwoman Jessica Rosenworcel said in a press release about the COVID-19 telehealth awards. “From community health clinics in urban city centers to hospitals serving rural communities across the country, these funds will support efforts to help our neighbors remain in the care of their doctors, nurses, physician assistants and trusted health care providers during this pandemic.”
The program provides reimbursement for telecommunications services, information services and connected devices. Round 1 of the COVID-19 Telehealth program was funded with $200 million from the CARES Act. Round 2 is funded at $249.95 million. Once $150 million of Round 2 funding has been committed, the FCC Wireline Competition Bureau will announce an opportunity for remaining applications to supplement their applications before final funding is committed.
The first approvals in round 2, which were announced on August 26, went to 62 applicants and totaled $41.98 million. Three awards — for MCR Health (Palmetto, FL), Mercy Health System (Rockford, IL) and St. Luke’s Hospital (New Bedford, MA) were for one millions dollars.