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Telecommunications funding program accepting applicants

Psychologists working in certain health care settings can now apply for funding to cover telecommunications services and devices under the CARES Act.

As part of the new federal stimulus law, the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES Act), Congress has established a program to fund costs incurred by psychologists and other eligible health care providers working in certain settings to provide telehealth and virtual services during the COVID-19 public health emergency.

The COVID-19 Telehealth Program — with $200 million in funding — is a short-term funding program intended to help eligible nonprofit and public health care providers purchase telecommunications services, information services and needed devices to treat patients in rural and non-rural areas during the COVID-19 public health emergency.

Eligible services include real-time video consultations and visits, asynchronous provider consultation, remote patient monitoring and patient health education.

The following types of health care providers are eligible to apply:

  • post-secondary educational institutions offering health care instruction, 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
  • consortia of health care providers consisting of one or more entities falling into the first seven categories

Applications (PDF, 155KB) may be submitted beginning Monday, April 13. Applicants must attest that they will comply with Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) and other relevant privacy and reimbursement laws and regulations, applicable licensing laws and regulations as waived or modified in connection with the COVID-19 pandemic. Providers must also comply with the COVID-19 Telehealth program requirements, including record-keeping up to 3 years upon conclusion of this funding program.

Selected applicants will receive up to $1 million, awarded on a rolling basis until either the public health emergency declaration has ended, or the grant funds are spent.

The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) is also formalizing its Connected Care Pilot Program, which is a 3-year program with $100 million focused on low-income Americans and veterans. Its aim is to cover up to 85% of eligible costs such as broadband connectivity, network equipment and information sources to enable eligible nonprofit and public-health care providers to better serve medically underserved populations in both rural and non-rural areas.

Visit the FCC's COVID-19 Telehealth Program page for more information.