1. What is the FCC COVID-19 Telehealth Program?
In March 2020, Congress allocated $200 million to the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to design a program that helps health care providers offer telehealth services to patients in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. The FCC COVID-19 Telehealth Program was created to fund the adoption of telehealth software and connected devices, helping providers deliver critical connected care services, especially in some of the hardest hit areas.
In December 2020, Congress appropriated an additional $249.95 million for a second round of funding for the program under the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2021. The FCC has since collected public feedback to guide this year's evaluation and approval process and is expected to announce applications shortly.
Since the 2021 application has yet to open, we have no specific information on how to apply for this year's funding. Once applications open, however, distributions may be on a first-come, first-served basis. If your organization is interested in applying this year, we recommend reviewing the resources below and making any necessary preparations ahead of time. Join our webinar learn how you can prepare. Register Now â†’
2. Overview of the FCC Telehealth Program from 2020.
- Funding is going to connected devices and IT infrastructure/services only
- Up to $1 million to each awardee
- Rolling basis
- Once the deadline is set, awards are given on a first come first serve basis until funds are exhausted; preparation should be taken to ensure competitive applications are ready for submission ahead of time
- Strongly recommend a focus on high risk and vulnerable populations
- Applications should emphasize that this tech reduces the pandemic spread
- Customers must qualify as not-for-profit, rural, academic with a teaching mission, community health centers, or skilled nursing facilities
- For more details on eligibility and how to apply visit https://www.fcc.gov/covid-19-telehealth-program
3. Application Resources from 2020
- Application Portal
- Instructions for using the online application portal
- Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about the application and the program
- Guidance on the Application Process (FCC Public Notice)
- Video Tutorial on the online application
- Slides from the video tutorial
- Questions about the application process can be emailed to TelehealthApplicationsSupport@fcc.gov.
In conjunction with completing an application, applicants from 2020 must:
- Create an FCC Registration Number (FRN) and username and password in the Commission Registration System (CORES). An FRN is a 10-digit number that is assigned to a business or individual registering with the FCC and is used to identify the registrant's business dealings with the FCC. Learn more about CORES.
- Obtain an eligibility determination from the Universal Service Administrative Company (USAC) by filing FCC Form 460 through My Portal on USAC's webpage. (Filers do not need to be rural health care providers in order to file Form 460 for this program.) For additional Form 460 support contact USAC, by telephone at (800)453-1546 or email at RHC-Assist@usac.org
- Register with the federal System for Award Management (SAM). SAM registration support can be found here.
4. Additional Resources for 2021 Telehealth Funding
- Rural Funding Opportunities https://www.ruralhealthinfo.org/funding
- Distance Learning and Telemedicine Grants https://www.rd.usda.gov/programs-services/distance-learning-telemedicine-grants
- Additional Grants https://www.grants.gov/web/grants
5. Recent Updates
March 30, 2021 - The FCC adopted the Report and Order to implement Round 2 of the COVID-19 Telehealth Program, a $249.95 million federal initiative that builds on the $200 million program established as part of the CARES Act. The application window is expected to open within 30 days of release of the Order, and the FCC will provide notice in advance of that date. For more information about the FCC's COVID-19 Telehealth program, click here.
April 6, 2021 - The Federal Communications Commission has unanimously approved the process for distributing nearly $250 million in the next round of COVID Telehealth funding. The agency is expected to begin accepting applications within the next 30 days. We'll continue to monitor for any updates regarding specific dates or timelines. Additionally, the FCC has released a document detailing a rating system for more specific details on how applications may be evaluated.