Using FCC Telehealth Grant to Implement a Virtual Health Program

medical staff holding tablet conducting telehealth visit/remote care screening

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FCC Telehealth Funds Overview

On March 27, 2020, President Trump signed the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act into law. As part of this new law, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) was provided $200 million to fund telehealth services and devices for non-profit and public eligible healthcare providers. This $200 million will be used to streamline care delivery through the subsidization of telehealth programs across the country. Eligible hospitals and health centers are now able to apply for funding up to $1 million to cover the cost of implementing a telehealth program, including new devices, services, and medical personnel, into their clinical workflows.

So, what is telehealth? Telehealth is described as the delivery and facilitation of health care services through the use of remote, mobile technologies. These services include medical care, provider and patient education, health information tools, and self-care via telecommunication and digital communication technologies. Telehealth is comprised of four primary mechanisms that enable remote care delivery: mobile health, video conferencing, remote patient monitoring (RPM), and a “store and forward” electronic transmission of data, and documentation.

While the funding is directly tied to enabling telehealth for providers and their patients, additional measures can be taken to begin the implementation of digital health solutions. Digital health encompasses a range of categories that cover how technology can be implemented in healthcare to provide additional metrics and monitoring for at-risk patients. This includes wearable devices, telehealth and telemedicine, remote patient monitoring, and more. The cliexa platform offers the full suite of digital health solutions in one package and can be leveraged for the funding made available by the FCC in this release.

What Can the Telehealth Funds be Used for?

Funds may be applied to the implementation of telecommunications services, information services, and connected devices to connect providers with their patients in response to COVID-19. This includes freeing up time and resources for healthcare professionals to treat COVID-19. Monitoring devices (e.g., pulse-oximeters or blood pressure monitoring devices) and wearables that patients can use and then share the results with their healthcare provider will not be funded unless they are themselves connected. Funds also may not be used for administrative expenses related to the program (e.g., application costs and expenses) or other miscellaneous expenses. Your awarded funds can be used to implement an all-encompassing virtual health platform, such as cliexa.

Rather than replacing the solutions you have already found, cliexa complements them to increase your capabilities throughout this shift to remote care with digital intake, remote check-in, custom discrete data delivery, telehealth plug-ins, and more. With these new features, all registration and pre-screening can be done remotely for new and follow-up patients via their smartphones or tablets. If you decided to conduct telehealth visits, we also support plug-ins to provide all the necessary documentation upfront to the patient. The data will then discretely populate into a customizable format in the existing medical record flow. Whether you are looking to implement telehealth or a variety of digital health solutions, the FCC funds can be used for multiple aspects of the cliexa platform.

Eligibility & Criteria

According to the FCC report and order, for-profit hospitals will not be allowed to apply. The COVID-19 telehealth funding is limited to the following institutions:

  • Post-secondary educational institutions offering health care instruction, teaching hospitals, and medical schools
  • Community health centers or health centers providing healthcare to migrants
  • Local health departments or agencies
  • Community mental health centers
  • Not-for-profit hospitals
  • Rural health clinics
  • Skilled nursing facilities
  • Consortia of healthcare providers consisting of one or more entities falling into the first seven categories

The FCC has not specified a limit on how much it will award to applicants, but it does not expect to award more than $1 million to any applicant. The FCC will award support to eligible applicants based on the estimated costs they aim to purchase, outlined in the application process. Applicants that have exhausted initial funding may request further support. Applicants that are selected may apply to receive funding from the Connected Care Pilot Program but may not request funding for the same exact services from both programs.

How cliexa Can Help

Whether you exclusively enable telehealth or specific features of digital health, cliexa is the ideal partner to streamline the full-stack of virtual health for health systems and community-based health centers. With cliexa, patients can be remotely checked-in, pre-screened, and registered before entering the care facility. The data collected is then sent through the existing medical record or preferred format, limiting the steps taken by medical staff to on-board and treat patients. The platform is 100% customizable to fit the specific workflow already in place, enabling a tailored solution that seamlessly integrates with minimal disruptions.

With our availability as a digital health solution for this FCC grant, our team will provide assistance and guidance for the application process. As we are not permitted to apply, our platform can directly address the call for innovation across all eligible parties. Our team will work hand-in-hand with your staff to complete essential steps and apply for FCC funding. With the application, the cliexa team can address the “low hanging fruit” for your team to implement an effective digital health solution to enable remote care and virtual health throughout the COVID pandemic, and onwards.

For More Information

For questions regarding how cliexa can support you in the application process and implementation of digital health solutions, please Contact Us through our form submission or email info@cliexa.com.

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