“The Department of Health and Human Services is increasing awareness around expanding telehealth services for patients and providers across the country during the COVID-19 pandemic, attending particularly to areas with historically limited access to health care services, such as rural communities.”
“The agency launched a new telehealth website Wednesday through the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) as a means to better inform people about ongoing federal efforts to support and promote telehealth programs at this time…”
“In addition to launching the aggregated telehealth-information platform, the agency announced it will provide $165 million in funding to support telehealth in rural hospitals through HRSA…”
“The funding will be delivered to 1,779 small rural hospitals as well as 14 HRSA-funded telehealth resource centers that offer technical assistance, information and education to those establishing telehealth programs.”
“These recently awarded funds are separate from the $11.5 million granted to the centers by the HRSA’s Federal Office of Rural Health Policy through the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act…”
“However, some hospitals still may face significant challenges accessing certain populations due to variabilities between communities and state-to-state access to broadband internet services, the HRSA officials said.”
“There are longstanding federal efforts to address internet connectivity disparities, such as the Federal Communication Commission’s (FFC) Rural Health Care Program and the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDS) Broadband program, Tom Morris, the associate director for HRSA, noted. He stressed that the urgent need for telehealth adoption in these areas to strategically manage COVID-19 is widely apparent…” Read the full article here.
Source: HHS Increases Telehealth Promotion, Rural Hospital Funding for COVID-19 – By Faith Ryan, April 27, 2020. GovernmentCIO.