Tanner Health System has received a grant for $879,520 to help implement and expand telehealth services in west Georgia and east Alabama.
The grant from the Federal Communications Commission’s Wireline Competition Bureau aims to help health care providers fund telehealth services during the coronavirus pandemic. The FCC’s COVID-19 Telehealth Program, authorized by the CARES Act, has approved 539 applications in 47 states plus Washington, D.C. and Guam for a total of $200 million in funding.
“In late March, Congress tasked the FCC with developing from scratch a new $200 million COVID-19 Telehealth Program to help combat COVID-19, support health care providers, and make it easier for Americans to safely access vital health care services,” said FCC Chairman Ajit Pai. “We have already seen the program’s positive impact on expanding access to telehealth services and promoting the well-being of patients and healthcare providers across the country.”
Award recipients can use the funds to expand current telehealth capabilities and implement new telehealth technologies/services to treat patients. The grant should primarily focus on providing remote services to patients needing inpatient acute care, behavioral health services, chronic conditions, and other medical conditions.
Tanner will use the grant for technology to expand the presence of specialist providers, such as neurologists and psychiatrists, and provide access to Tanner Medical Group clinics
. The health system will also use the grant to implement a remote monitoring system for patients who leave the hospital after receiving care for complex chronic conditions.
“We greatly appreciate the FCC’s support of Tanner’s telehealth initiative that will generate a tremendous, long-term impact on our efforts to improve access to health care in west Georgia and east Alabama,” said Benjamin Camp, MD, senior vice president and chief medical officer for Tanner. “We are excited about the benefits this grant will bring to the communities in our service area.”
Expanding telehealth services will help provide care to more patients, including those at high risk for COVID-19, low income, underserved and vulnerable. For certain conditions, patients can schedule telehealth appointments to talk to and see a Tanner Medical Group provider without leaving home — all they need is a computer, smartphone or tablet.
Tanner’s clinics began offering the service earlier this year to prevent the spread of COVID-19 and help patients stay safe while adhering to local stay-at-home orders. Telehealth appointments allow patients to connect with physicians without going to the hospital or urgent care facilities.
To learn more about Tanner’s telehealth services, visit tanner.org/telehealth-at-tanner
About the Federal Communications Commission’s Wireline Competition Bureau
The COVID-19 Telehealth Program provides $200 million in funding, appropriated by Congress as part of the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act, to help health care providers provide connected care services to patients at their homes or mobile locations in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. The Program offers immediate support for eligible health care providers responding to the COVID-19 pandemic by fully funding their telecommunications services, information services, and devices necessary to provide critical connected care services. For more information, visit fcc.gov/covid-19-telehealth-program