COVID-19 Telehealth Program – Round 2 – Major Opportunity to Fully Fund Your Remote Patient Monitoring Program – $250M Reimbursements Available
What to Do Next and How CareSimple Can Help
Following the completion of the $200 million FCC COVID-19 Telehealth Program, Congress approved in December an additional Round 2 of $249.95 million as part of the Consolidated Appropriations Act. The FCC collected public input on the program in January 2021 to address and improve issues including how the funding is dispersed and found it in the public interest to have the Program managed by the Universal Service Fund (USAC).
Last Tuesday, March 30th, the FCC confirmed the implementation of Round 2 and expects to start accepting applications within the next 30 days.
The purpose of the COVID-19 Telehealth Program is to “help health care providers provide connected care services to patients at their homes or mobile locations in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.” It enables eligible providers to get complete funding of their telecommunication services, information services, and devices by simply submitting eligible expenses for reimbursement.
As a reminder, in Round 1 last year, the FCC awarded $200 million through the CARES Act to 539 applicants, which represents about 10% of applications. It is also worth noting that successful applicants of Round 1 have until July 2021 to submit their receipts and may still change their vendors.
Based on the results of Round 1 and the public consultation of January 2021, the FCC has since amended its selection and management process to:
- Implement a new rating system that favors Round 1 applicants and hardest-hit and low-income areas
- Set a deadline for all application submissions so that they will be reviewed at the same time, rather than the rolling basis approach of Round 1
- Fund in two phases so that approvals and reimbursements can be done more quickly
- Ensure that each state, territory, and the District of Columbia will receive funding
As the deadline for submissions approaches, the FCC and USAC will provide further updates on the process.
What It Means for You
If you are eligible for this Program, have applied for Round 1 but did not get selected, or are planning to apply in Round 2, you have a unique opportunity of fully funding your remote patient monitoring (RPM) program for both services and connected devices. We recommend you either amend your Round 1 application or, as appropriate, submit a new one. CareSimple can help you significantly improve your chances of success within 48 hours.
How CareSimple Helps Underserved Communities
As a leader in digital health for the last 12 years, our focus on making healthcare more personal and more accessible through virtual care technology has never changed.
Traditional RPM vendors typically require one of these two options:
- Patients to own a smartphone to connect with Bluetooth peripherals and transmit readings using their own data plan – a solution that works better with newer/expensive phones.
- Providers to buy full “kit” solutions, which include a tablet, a data plan, and peripherals – a solution with high equipment costs and complex logistics requiring significant support efforts for non-tech-savvy patients.
CareSimple requires neither. We ship cost-effective, FDA approved medical devices directly to the patient which have built-in cellular transmission capabilities. The devices work out-of-the-box, do not need to be paired to a tablet or a smartphone and transmit readings in near real time to our platform and to your EHR.
This means that you do not need to worry about:
- What phone your patients have, or if they even have one
- If your patients have WiFi in their homes, or a data plan
- Lost, broken, or stolen devices, given our no-question-asked replacement policy and low equipment cost
Additionally, we provide end-to-end technical support, full patient onboarding services, logistics and EHR integration, ensuring that your RPM program is simple no matter the age, conditions, and socioeconomic status of your patient population. We know how social determinants of health affect chronic conditions, and we have a solution and a service team that leave no one behind. That’s why it is called “CareSimple.”
Submitting your Application
If you have already applied for Round 1 but did not get selected and wish to amend your application, or if you applied successfully in Round 1 but have not started yet, we have a team of application specialists that can review your application, refine your requirements, improve your solutions descriptions, and help you amend the submission within 48 hours.
If you are starting from scratch with a new application, time is of the essence. We can quickly work to define the needs of your population, develop an implementation strategy and provide you a quote, from which we will help you create your application.
Over the course of 2020, CareSimple built an expertise in supporting applicants and has since launched multiple FCC-funded RPM programs with both community health centers and health systems. No matter your situation, we can significantly improve your chances of obtaining funding and put you in a better place to succeed.
 See the latest eligibility criteria at the FCC QA https://www.fcc.gov/covid-19-telehealth-program-frequently-asked-questions-faqs
 See point 12 of the FCC FAQ https://www.fcc.gov/covid-19-telehealth-program-frequently-asked-questions-faqs