COVID-19 Telehealth Program Funding for Healthcare Providers

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How to Apply for and Implement a Telehealth Program

Transportation and logistics companies are running on overdrive. Retail shops are connecting with buyers in ways never before attempted. K-12 educational institutions are 100% virtual, and many of us are working from home. Nearly every industry has pivoted in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, and health care is no different. In part, thanks to the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act health care providers have access to much needed funding to enhance the patient experience, from the comfort of their own home.  

What is Telehealth?

Telehealth is defined by the World Health Organization (WHO) as health care services that use telecommunication and virtual technology to deliver healthcare outside of traditional facilities. These technologies include video conferencing, the internet and wireless communications.  

Health care today is quickly evolving to enable telehealth services that cater to consumers at their homes, and it makes perfect sense. Combine the social distancing requirements associated with COVID-19 with advancements in both consumer and healthcare technology to make it feasible for doctors and patients to communicate at the speed of…. lightsound…a video conference.   

As with most new solutions – implementing and sustaining a telehealth program comes with its own challenges. Once you navigate the compliance and regulation field, you can tackle the technology requirements. Often the answers to the technology requirements result in buying new equipment, enhancing connectivity, and applying appropriate security controls – which all come with some potentially sizable costs. 

FCC Adopts $200 Million to Combat COVID-19

The good news is, the Federal Communications Commission adopted the $200 million COVID-19 Telehealth Program in a report and order released April 2, 2020. The COVID-19 Telehealth Program was established by the commission in response to the public health emergency brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Through this grant program, the Commission will distribute the $200 million Congress appropriated funds under the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act, to help health care providers deliver telehealth services to patients at their homes or mobile locations in response to the COVID-19 pandemic

How to Apply for the COVID-19 Telehealth Program

If you are a healthcare provider and have already made an investment in a telehealth solution, you may still be able to apply for reimbursement for purchases made after March 13, 2020.  Before you start the application process – here are some data points that you will want to have ready to speed the application process.   

  • Applicant FCC Registration Number (FRN) 
  • Applicant National Provider Identifier (NPI) 
  • Federal Employer Identification Number (EIN/Tax ID) 
  • Healthcare provider number as assigned by the USAC
  • Total amount of funding requested
  • Whether funding for devices is being requested 
  • Supporting documentation such as invoices or a quote from enVista  

How to Implement a Successful Telehealth Solution

Over the last 20 years, enVista has been providing technology solutions and consulting services to federally qualified health centers (FQHC). Our services include ongoing operational support of complex technology infrastructure, helpdesk services, hardware procurement and deployment of end user computing devices. Our experience with deploying video communications tools and end user computing devices for FQHCs will help facilitate the FCC application process and reduce the burden associated with deploying and training staff on new technology.  

Learn more about the COVID-19 Telehealth Program available to health care providers and how we can help make your telehealth deployment a success.

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