The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) announced on April 15 that the initial application window for the second round of its COVID-19 Telehealth Program will open on April 29 and close on May 6. The program was established by the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act (P.L. 116-136) to provide health care organizations with funds to purchase “telecommunications services, information services, and devices necessary to provide critical connected care services” during the pandemic.
The FCC announced that it will distribute at least $150 million of the $249.95 million allocated by Congress by the close of the initial application period. Awards will be allocated in advance, and in order to receive funds, organizations must later submit invoices for reimbursement. The announcement stated that, when reviewing applications, the FCC will consider whether the applicant is in an area experiencing a health care provider shortage, a low-income area, a tribal community, and/or an area hit hardest by the COVID-19 pandemic. It will also consider whether the application was underfunded during the first round of the program.