Telehealth Funding Announcements and Opportunities – COVID-19

Posted Alliance for Connected Care COVID-19, COVID-19 Highlights

The Alliance has compiled telehealth funding opportunities below. A list of appropriations from the third COVID-19 legislative package, the CARES Act, can be viewed here.

Federal Communications Commission Report and Order

On April 2, FCC released a report and order on the COVID-19 Telehealth Program and Connected Care Pilot Program. These programs provide funding for telecommunications, and telehealth services to nonprofit healthcare organizations.

COVID-19 Telehealth Program – $200 million to be used immediately  (APPLY HERE)

  • The COVID-19 Telehealth Program will be open to eligible health care providers, whether located in rural or non-rural areas, and will provide eligible health care providers support to purchase telecommunications, information services, and connected devices to provide connected care services in response to the coronavirus pandemic. The COVID-19 Telehealth Program will only fund monitoring devices (e.g., pulse-ox, BP monitoring devices), that are themselves connected. The COVID-19 Telehealth Program will not fund unconnected devices that patients can use at home and then share the results with their medical professional remotely.
  • The COVID-19 Telehealth Program will provide selected applicants full funding for eligible services and devices through its congressionally appropriated $200 million budget, and these funds will be available until they are expended or until the current pandemic has ended.  FCC does not anticipate awarding more than $1 million to any single applicant.
  • Eligibility: (1) post-secondary educational institutions offering health care instruction, teaching hospitals, and medical schools; (2) community health centers or health centers providing health care to migrants; (3) local health departments or agencies; (4) community mental health centers; (5) not-for-profit hospitals; (6) rural health clinics; (7) skilled nursing facilities; or (8) consortia of health care providers consisting of one or more entities falling into the first seven categories.
  • Applications will be accepted after publication of this Report and Order and notice of OMB’s approval of the COVID-19 Telehealth Program information collection requirements in the Federal Register.

Connected Care Pilot Program – up to $100 million in total funding over three years

  • The Pilot Program we adopt today is a discrete, limited duration program that will provide universal service support to help defray health care providers’ qualifying costs of providing connected care services, with a primary focus on providing these services to low-income or veteran patients.
  • The Pilot Program will provide funding for selected pilot projects to cover 85% of the eligible costs of broadband connectivity, network equipment, and information services necessary to provide connected care services to the intended patient population. They decline to set a number of pilot projects or indicate an expected amount per project and will evaluate proposals received.
  • They seek diverse participation to maximize the potential for the Pilot Program to provide meaningful data about the benefits of connected care, and how and whether Universal Service Fund support could be used more broadly in the future to enable the adoption of connected care services among patients and their health care providers.
  • Eligibility: (1) post-secondary educational institutions offering health care instruction, teaching hospitals, and medical schools; (2) community health centers or health centers providing health care to migrants; (3) local health departments or agencies; (4) community mental health centers; (5) not-for-profit hospitals; (6) rural health clinics; (7) skilled nursing facilities; or (8) consortia of health care providers consisting of one or more entities falling into the first seven categories.
Health Resources & Services Administration Funding
  • The CARES Act signed into law on March 27, provides HRSA $275 million to remain available until September 30, 2022 for Ryan White programs, rural health programs, and telehealth programs.
  • On March 24, HHS, through HRSA, awarded $100 million to 1,381 health centers across the nation to expand screening and testing, acquire additional medical supplies and expand telehealth capacity in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. The funding was provided by the Coronavirus Preparedness and Response Supplemental Appropriations Act, the first coronavirus relief package.
Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality Funding Opportunity
  • On March 26, AHRQ issued a notice of intent to publish a funding opportunity to support novel, high-impact studies evaluating health system and healthcare professional responsiveness to the COVID-19 pandemic. AHRQ is interested in challenges with the rapid expansion of telemedicine, and how digital health innovations have contributed to health system and provider capabilities to meet the needs of vulnerable populations. AHRQ plans to make up to $5 million available.
Department of Defense Funding Opportunity
  • The Medical Technology Enterprise Consortium (MTEC) posted a pre-announcement request for project proposals (RPP) to develop and deploy the National Emergency Telecritical Care Network (NETCCN) — a cloud-based, low-resource, stand-alone health information management system to create virtual critical care wards. The U.S. Government (USG) Department of Defense (DoD) is anticipated to have approximately $30 to $37 million in FY20 funds. The upcoming RPP(s) will be posted to the MTEC website (mtec-sc.org).