FCC Won't Accept More CARES Act Telehealth Applications

The FCC said it has run through the $200 million in telehealth funding Congress gave it in the CARES Act COVID-19 aid bill. 

The FCC has so far given out over $150 million of that money and signaled Thursday (June 25) that with the applications already in and not yet granted, there is more demand than money left.  

The money has gone to healthcare providers for remote health monitoring, connectivity and equipment.

Related: FCC Approves 12th Tranche of Telehealth Funding

The Wirelines Competition Bureau said that it will no longer be accepting applications. 

The FCC started accepting applications April 13 and starting approving them only days later. 

To date, the COVID-19 Telehealth Program has approved 444 applications in 46 states (plus D.C.), totaling $157.64 million.

Related: Sen. Sullivan Slams FCC Alaska Telehealth Clawback 

"Based on the applications received to date, demand for funding exceeds available COVID-19 Telehealth Program funds and, as a result, the FCC does not want to impose burdens on health care providers who may prepare new applications that cannot be funded under the current appropriation," the bureau said. 

John Eggerton

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.