The FCC has approved a third set of applications for the $200 million COVID-19 Telehealth program.
The FCC said the $2.56 million will be going to some of the hardest hit areas, as was the case with the first two batches of applications.
That brings the total number of approved applications to 17 health care providers in 10 states and totaling $9.5 million. It is approving them on a rolling basis.
There is no deadline for spending the money, which the FCC gets "until expended." It is to go to "prevent, prepare for, and respond to coronavirus, domestically or internationally, including to support efforts of health care providers to address coronavirus by providing telecommunications services, information services, and devices necessary to enable the provision of telehealth services during an emergency period."
The new projects funded include remote patient visits and monitoring, including for low-income residents and people with chronic health conditions.
Congress appropriated $200 million as part of the CARES Act coronavirus support legislation. The FCC approved a framework for vetting the applications April 1.
The FCC began processing applications April 13.
The FCC does not expect to give out more than $1 million per grant. Eligible providers include nonprofit hospitals, medical schools, health departments, healthcare services for migrants, and others.
FCC chairman Ajit Pai said Thursday (April 23) that the FCC has "stood up" the program in "very short order and in a very productive fashion."
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Contributing editor John Eggerton has been an editor and/or writer on media regulation, legislation and policy for over four decades, including covering the FCC, FTC, Congress, the major media trade associations, and the federal courts. In addition to Multichannel News and Broadcasting + Cable, his work has appeared in Radio World, TV Technology, TV Fax, This Week in Consumer Electronics, Variety and the Encyclopedia Britannica.