Bloomberg Law
Free Newsletter Sign Up
Bloomberg Law
Welcome
Go
Free Newsletter Sign Up

FCC’s Pai Unveils Plans for Up to $300 Million for Telehealth (1)

March 30, 2020, 6:08 PMUpdated: March 30, 2020, 7:53 PM

Federal Communications Commission Chairman Ajit Pai has laid out a strategy for pumping as much as $300 million into supporting telehealth services for hospitals and other health care providers.

The agency will receive $200 million for telehealth under the newly enacted stimulus bill. Pai has circulated a draft order that would establish a “COVID-19 Telehealth Program” for the funds, the agency said.

He has also circulated final rules for a three-year pilot program that would steer up to $100 million of its universal service funds over three years to providers to help cover telehealth costs, it said.

“Our nation’s health care providers are under incredible, and still increasing, strain as they fight the pandemic,” Pai said in a statement. “My plan for the COVID-19 Telehealth Program is a critical tool to address this national emergency.”

Public hospitals, community health centers, and other public or non-profit health care providers would be eligible to apply for funding under the proposed program, a senior FCC official said. The funding would cover all telehealth costs for eligible health care providers, the official said. The agency would approve funding requests until the money is depleted or the pandemic ends.

The $100 million pilot program would cover 85% of broadband costs for a select number of health care projects around the country. The FCC aims to help people with chronic conditions receive care with in-home services such as remote patient monitoring. The FCC raises the universal service funds through fees collected from consumers.

(Updated with additional reporting )

To contact the reporter on this story: Jon Reid in Washington at jreid@bloomberglaw.com

To contact the editors responsible for this story: Roger Yu at ryu@bloomberglaw.com; Keith Perine at kperine@bloomberglaw.com