The spread of the novel coronavirus that has swept across the US has become an unanticipated catalyst for telehealth adoption and deployment. Provider organizations were faced with an urgent need to shift strategies for patient engagement—to provide options for virtual care in support of social distancing. Providers without the telehealth capabilities in place have been nudged through the adoption doorway and have had to ramp up quickly to sustain critical connection to their patients. In the midst of other disruptive challenges, such as equipping nonessential employees to work from home and rapidly changing patient contact practices, healthcare organizations have had to shoulder the cost and burden of unplanned-for and unbudgeted technology adoption.
On April 2, 2020, the FCC announced that it will provide the COVID-19 Telehealth Program, which will grant $200M Congress-appropriated funding to eligible healthcare providers (which include educational institutions, hospitals, clinics, and other health centers) for expenses related to the provision of connected care services in response to the Covid-19 pandemic. The grant application window opened on Monday, April 13, 2020, and applications are being selected on a rolling basis, targeting funding toward areas hardest hit by COVID-19.
What is the COVID Program funding?
Funding will be based on the estimated costs of services and connected devices an applicant purchased after March 13, 2020 or intends to purchase in the future. Funding will cover 100%of the costs of those eligible products and services identified in an application. However, to offer flexibility in responding to changing circumstances, the FCC will permit awarded funds to be used to purchase additional services and devices not identified in the application. The types of products and services covered by the grant funding include:
Who can qualify for funding?
All nonprofit and public-eligible healthcare providers (as defined in section 25(h)(7)(B) of the Telecommunications Act of 1996) Eligible organizations include: Post-secondary educational institutions offering health care instruction, including 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; and consortia of healthcare providers consisting of one or more of the foregoing entities.
How do I apply for the COVID-19 Telehealth grant?
All eligible healthcare providers who wish to apply can do so beginning Monday, April 13, 2020.
Apply for the grant here.
There are several steps an applicant needs to have taken prior to application for grant funds, as outline below:
- Eligibility. Healthcare providers seeking to participate in the COVID-19 Telehealth Program must obtain an eligibility determination from the Universal Service Administrative Company (USAC) for each healthcare provider site that they include in their application. Prior eligibility may be relied upon for this application and need not be resubmitted. File an FCC Form 460.
- Registration. Applicants must obtain an FCC Registration Number (FRN) in the commission registration system (CORES) if they have not previously acquired on. An FRN is a 10-digit number for identifying a registrant’s dealings with the FCC. Obtain an FRN.
- Award Setup. Applicants must be registered with the federal System for Award Management (SAM). It may take up to 10 business days for registration to become active and an additional 24 hours before that registration information is available in other government systems. Register with SAM.
How can Verizon help?
Verizon is committed to responsive support of our customers faced with the challenges of COVID-19 and the immediate need for telehealth adoption. While we have solutions that can support a quick and seamless deployment, we are equally committed to partnering with you to expedite the application for FCC funding so that you can focus on your core services and frontline patient care.
We’re ready to assist you with:
- Telehealth solutioning and deployment. Verizon can enable the core capabilities of your telehealth adoption and deployment—from broadband and internet connectivity to phones, tablets, and connected monitoring devices to mobile device management, mobile security, and video-enabled collaboration tools, all of which fall within the parameters of the FCC COVID-19 funding specifications.
- Grant application and submission. The FCC grant application requires detailed descriptions of products, services, pricing, and deployment timelines for all products and services that qualify for funding.
For more information or assistance.
Contact your Verizon sales rep or account manager.