FCC Approves 36 New Connected Care Pilot Projects From Harlem To Hollywood

Today the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) approved a Report and Order offering further guidance on the administration of its $100 million Connected Care Pilot Program.

This includes guidance on eligible services, competitive bidding, invoicing, and data reporting for selected participants, which will enable applicants selected for the Pilot Program to begin their projects.

Additionally, the FCC this week voted to approve 36 additional pilot projects for a total of over $31 million in funding.

The newly selected Pilot projects join an initial set of 23 projects approved earlier this year, bringing the total to over $57 million in funding for 59 pilot projects serving patients in 30 states plus Washington, DC.

According to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, Medicare patients’ telehealth activity increased from 15,000 beneficiaries a week pre-pandemic, to 24.5 million beneficiaries receiving a telehealth services between mid-March and mid-October 2020.

 The Pilot Program will make available up to $100 million from the Universal Service Fund over a three-year period for selected pilot projects to help defray the costs of providing certain telehealth services for eligible health care providers, with a particular emphasis on providing connected care services to low-income and veteran patients.

Today’s action allows Pilot Program participants to begin their projects.  It also provides guidance on eligible services, including clarification on the eligibility of certain network equipment.

 In addition, the Order provides details about the competitive bidding process, requesting funding, receiving funding commitments, making changes to projects, and seeking reimbursement through submitting invoices.

The projects will address a variety of critical health issues such as maternal health, chronic disease, mental health conditions, and opioid dependency, among others:

  • ADV West – Frank R. Howard Memorial Hospital, Willets, CA.  ADV West – Frank R. Howard Memorial Hospital’s Pilot project would use $504,900 in Connected Care support to provide data for patient devices and remote patient monitoring services primarily to low-income patients suffering from chronic disease and mental health issues.  ADV West – Frank R. Howard Memorial Hospital’s Pilot project would serve an estimated 2,000 patients in Mendocino County, California, approximately 70% of whom are low-income.  ADV West – Frank R. Howard Memorial Hospital was chosen because it would address targeted medical conditions for a sizeable, low-income patient group in medically underserved areas, and it has a plan for delivering its connected care services.
  • Albany Medical Center, Albany, NY.  Albany Medical Center’s Pilot program would use $331,429 in Connected Care support to provide patient broadband, video visits, and remote treatment to low-income patients suffering from chronic conditions, high-risk pregnancy/maternal health, infectious diseases including COVID-19, mental health conditions, and opioid dependency.  Albany Medical Center’s Pilot project would serve at least 120,000 patients in northeastern New York, 68% of whom are low-income patients.  Albany Medical Center was selected because it would treat targeted conditions for a large low-income population in medically underserved areas.
  • Blessing Health System, consortium with sites in western Illinois and eastern Missouri.  Blessing Health System seeks $393,012 for remote patient monitoring, remote treatment, and video visits to treat chronic, long-term, and behavioral health conditions.  Blessing Health System’s Pilot project would serve an estimated 1,900 patients, 100% of whom are low-income.  Blessing Health System was chosen for its focus on delivering mental health services and remote patient monitoring to low-income patients in rural areas.
  • Boone Memorial Health Services, Danville, WV.  Boone Memorial Health Services’ Pilot program would use $394,400 in Connected Care Pilot Program support to provide patient-based, internet-connected remote monitoring and video visits for veterans and low-income patients suffering from chronic or long-term conditions and mental health conditions.  Boone Memorial Health Services’ Pilot project would serve an estimated 5,000 patients in West Virginia, approximately 75% of whom are low-income or veterans.  Boone Memorial Health Services was chosen for its focus on serving rural, low-income patients.
  • Bridgeport Hospital, Bridgeport, CT; Lawrence + Memorial Hospital, New London, CT; Greenwich Hospital, Greenwich, CT; Yale New Haven Hospital, New Haven, CT. These applicants are all part of the Yale New Haven Health System but filed separate applications for similar projects.  Collectively, their Pilot projects seek $1,278,910 in Connected Care support to provide patient broadband connectivity primarily to low-income patients suffering from mental health conditions.  These Pilot projects will serve an estimated 1,800 patients, 95% of whom would be low-income patients.  These projects were selected because of their potential impact on their low-income communities.
  • Catholic Health Initiatives, consortium with 36 sites in Arkansas, Iowa, Kentucky, Minnesota, North Dakota, and Nebraska.  Catholic Health Initiatives’ Pilot project would use $6,183,189 in Connected Care support to provide patient-based, internet-connected remote monitoring, video visits, and remote treatment to vulnerable populations, especially low-income rural residents in Medically Underserved Areas (MUAs) and/or Health Professional Shortage Areas (HPSAs) for Primary Care.  Through strengthened and expanded broadband connectivity, Catholic Health Initiatives’ Pilot project would treat patients suffering from chronic or infectious disease, and will serve an estimated 3,000 patients, 90% of whom lack adequate broadband access, across 36 rural sites in Arkansas, Kentucky, Nebraska, Iowa, North Dakota, and Minnesota.  Catholic Health Initiatives was chosen for its plan to offer new connectivity options to its rural patients and thereby improve chronic care management and reduce readmissions.
  • Central Peninsula Hospital, Soldotna, AK.  Central Peninsula Hospital’s Pilot program seeks $3,300,839 in Connected Care support to provide patient-based, internet-connected remote monitoring, other monitoring, video visits, diagnostics including imaging, remote treatment and other services for veterans and low-income patients suffering from chronic conditions, high-risk pregnancy/maternal health, infectious diseases including COVID-19, mental health conditions, and opioid dependency.  Central Peninsula Hospital’s Pilot project could reach an estimated 28,706 patients across Alaska, 40% of whom are low-income patients and 20% of whom may be veterans. Central Peninsula Hospital’s project was selected because of its wide potential impact across its remote community.
  • Children’s National Medical Center, Washington, DC.  Children’s National Medical Center’s Pilot project seeks $1,680,830 in Connected Care support to provide connected care services, including remote patient monitoring, video visits, and remote treatment, primarily to low-income patients who suffer from a number of conditions, including diabetes, COVID-19, congenital heart disease, and mental and behavioral health conditions.  Children’s National Medical Center’s Pilot project will reach an estimated 27,890 patients in Washington, DC, Maryland, Virginia and other areas nationwide, approximately 70% of whom are low-income.  Children’s National Medical Center was selected because of its wide reach to low-income patient populations.
  • Coastal Health Alliance, dba Bolinas Family Practice, Bolinas, CA; Coastal Health Alliance, dba Point Reyes Medical Clinic, Point Reyes Station, CA.  These applications, filed by the same parent entity, would use a combined total of $542,304 in Connected Care support to provide patient-based, internet-connected remote monitoring, other monitoring, video visits, imaging diagnostics, other diagnostics, remote treatment and other services for low-income patients suffering from chronic or long-term conditions, high-risk pregnancy/maternal health, COVID-19,  infectious diseases other than COVID-19, mental health conditions, opioid dependency, and other conditions.  Together, the two Pilot projects would serve an estimated 2,278 patients, approximately 76% of whom are low-income.  These Pilot project applications were selected because they would leverage Pilot Program funding to expand connected care offerings and address barriers to access to care for low-income patients, including those in rural areas.
  • Community Health Center of Lubbock, Lubbock, TX.  Community Health Center of Lubbock seeks $59,142 to provide patient broadband for remote patient monitoring for hypertension.   Community Health Center of Lubbock’s Pilot project would leverage Pilot Program funding to provide connectivity services to at least 240 patients as part of a larger connected care initiative that will use HRSA funding to serve 1,200 patients, an estimated 80% of whom are low-income. Community Health Center of Lubbock’s service area includes Health Professional Shortage Areas.  Community Health Center of Lubbock’s Pilot project was selected because of its focus on primarily treating low-income patients and veterans and addressing patient connectivity barriers to receiving connected care services. 
  • Dubuque Community Mental Health Center, Dubuque, IA.  The Dubuque Community Mental Health Center’s project proposal would use $363,463 to provide video visits or consults and remote treatment to low-income patients.  These patients are suffering from chronic/long-term conditions, mental health conditions, and opioid dependency.  Dubuque Community Mental Health Center would serve approximately 1,000 patients in Iowa, 72% of whom would be low-income patients.  Dubuque was selected because of its focus on bringing broadband directly to low-income patients.
  • Grace Health, Battle Creek, MI.  Grace Health seeks $606,339 in Connected Care funding to implement a new telehealth system and devote resources for patient broadband internet access service (BIAS).  Grace Health will reach more than 31,000 individuals and will work to connect 500 patients to broadband, 80% of whom will be low-income.  Grace Health was selected because of its plan to serve a predominantly low-income population and its plan to treat infectious disease, opioid dependency, and maternal health issues using connected care resources.
  • Heartland Health Centers Consortium, a consortium with sites in Chicago, IL and Skokie, IL. Heartland Health Centers Consortium has nine sites across Chicago and in Skokie, IL.  Heartland Health Centers Consortium’s Pilot program seeks $693,154 in Connected Care support to provide patient-based, internet-connected remote monitoring, video visits, remote treatment and other services for low-income patients suffering from chronic conditions, high-risk pregnancy/maternal health, infectious diseases, including COVID-19, mental health conditions, and opioid dependency.  Heartland Health Centers Consortium’s Pilot project would serve an estimated 2,100 patients, 91% of whom would be low-income.  Heartland Health Centers Consortium was selected because of its wide array of services offered and its potential impact on the low-income population in its communities.
  • Heritage Behavioral Health Center, Decatur, IL.  Heritage Behavioral Health Center’s Pilot project seeks $322,299 in Connected Care support to provide video visits and remote treatment to low-income and veteran patients suffering from opioid dependency and mental health conditions.  Heritage Behavioral Health Center’s Pilot project would reach an estimated 5,500 patients in Macon County and DeWitt County, Illinois, 71% of whom would be low-income patients.  Heritage Behavioral Health Center was selected because of its focus on mental health efforts for the low-income population in its community.
  • Heritage Clinic, a consortium with sites in Los Angeles, Long Beach, Pasadena, and Lancaster, CA.  Heritage Clinic seeks $197,880 in Connected Care support to serve low-income seniors, some of whom are veterans or experiencing homelessness, to receive mental health services via video visits or consults.  The project would serve 600 patients in Southern California, 98% of whom would be low-income or veteran patients.  Heritage Clinic was selected because of its focus on serving low-income, including veteran, patients.
  • Housing Works Health Services III, Inc. on behalf of EngageWell IPA C-19, consortium with 32 sites in New York City, NY.  Housing Works seeks $2,527,220 in Connected Care Pilot Program funding to provide connected care services including video visits and remote treatment, to treat a variety of conditions, including chronic or long-term conditions, infectious diseases (including COVID-19), mental health conditions, and opioid dependency through 32 community health centers and community mental health centers in New York City.  Housing Works estimates that its Pilot project would serve 25,836 patients, and estimates that 100% of the participating patients would be low-income.  Housing Works’ Pilot project was selected because of its primary focus on low-income patients, and because it would remove barriers to access, and increase and simplify access to medical and behavioral health treatment for low-income and vulnerable patients, many of whom have chronic medical conditions, in New York City, including in Brooklyn, Harlem, Queens, and the Bronx. 
  • Hudson Headwaters Health Network, consortium with sites in 13 communities in upstate New York.  Hudson Headwaters Health Network (HHHN) seeks $767,210 in funding to upgrade routers at satellite locations and to procure a HIPAA-compliant digital portal that supports telehealth sessions and patient scheduling.  The project will potentially impact more than 81,000 patients, of whom 35% may be low-income.  HHHN was selected because of its focus on increasing resources for a large community while also incorporating a patient broadband component.
  • IHS-CAL Round Valley Indian Health Center, Covelo, CA.  IHS-CAL Round Valley Indian Health Center’s Pilot project seeks $968,836 in Connected Care support to provide remote patient monitoring, virtual visits, imaging diagnostics, and remote treatment to low-income and veteran patients suffering from opioid dependency, COVID-19, mental health conditions, maternal health issues, and chronic illnesses.  IHS-CAL Round Valley Indian Health Center’s Pilot project would serve an estimated 350 patients, all of whom would be low-income and 10% of whom will be veterans.  IHS-CAL Round Valley Indian Health Center was chosen because of its potential impact on its rural and Tribal community.
  • Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, MD.   Johns Hopkins University’s Pilot project seeks $297,670 in Connected Care support to provide increased broadband access for telehealth services and patient-based internet-connected remote monitoring for homeless persons with substance abuse disorders, pregnant women with substance abuse disorders, persons with severe psychiatric illness, and persons with substance abuse disorders.  Johns Hopkins University’s Pilot project would serve 565 patients, 85% of whom are low-income, and an estimated 30% have no or little access to broadband connectivity.  Johns Hopkins University’s Pilot project was selected because of its plan to provide connectivity and expand telehealth access to a primarily low-income and underserved patient population.  
  • Kennedy Krieger Children’s Hospital, Baltimore, MD.  Kennedy Krieger Children’s Hospital seeks $1,960,950 in Connected Care support to provide video consults and remote patient monitoring to low-income patients suffering from chronic health conditions and mental health concerns.  Kennedy Krieger will serve an estimated 500 patients, 100% of whom are low-income.  Kennedy Krieger was selected because of its potential impact on low-income children with chronic health conditions and mental health concerns in its community.
  • Mobile Medical Care, Inc., Silver Spring, MD. Mobile Medical Care’s Pilot project seeks $293,250 in Connected Care support to provide video visits and remote patient monitoring services primarily to low-income patients suffering from COVID-19, diabetes, or hypertension.  Mobile Medical Care’s Pilot project would serve an estimated 4,500 patients, 100% of whom would be low-income.  Mobile Medical Care was selected because of its potential community impact and its commitment to support patient broadband as part of its Pilot project.
  • Primary Care Providers for a Healthy Feliciana, Inc. – RKM Dental Clinic, Clinton, LA.  This Pilot project would use $79,560 in Connected Care support to provide remote treatment, video visits, and remote patient monitoring services primarily to low-income and veteran patients suffering from COVID-19, mental health conditions, opioid dependency, and chronic conditions. This Pilot project would serve an estimated 200 patients in Clinton, LA, 80% of them low-income or veterans.  This project was selected because of its commitment to supporting patient broadband to facilitate remote patient monitoring.
  • Sheppard Pratt, Towson, MD.  Sheppard Pratt’s Pilot project seeks $1,109,287 in Connected Care support to provide broadband internet access to an estimated 600 patients with severe mental health conditions, such as schizophrenia and bipolar disorder, who are primarily low-income and reside in group homes throughout Baltimore City, Baltimore County, and Frederick County, Maryland.  Sheppard Pratt’s Pilot project will focus on using connected care to provide a continuum of behavioral health care services to patients, such as remote treatment, video visits or consults, medication management, case management, and other supportive services.  Sheppard Pratt has demonstrated its experience in providing behavioral health services and telehealth, and 100% of the patient population that would be served are either low-income or veterans.  Sheppard Pratt was chosen for its proposal to open up connected care treatment options to a low-income or veteran patient population that has been particularly isolated during the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • Summa Health, Akron, OH.  Summa Health’s Pilot project seeks $783,870 in Connected Care support to provide remote patient monitoring services to primarily low-income patients suffering from mental health conditions and substance use disorders.  Summa Health’s Pilot project would serve an estimated 3,453 low-income patients in Northeast Ohio, of whom 65% are low-income.  Summa Health’s Pilot project was chosen for its use of remote patient monitoring to improve treatment of a large percentage of low-income patients with mental health and substance abuse conditions.
  • The Counseling Center of Wayne and Holmes County, Wooster OH.  The Counseling Center of Wayne and Holmes Counties C19’s Pilot program seeks $80,155 in Connected Care support to provide video visits, remote treatment and other services for low-income patients suffering from chronic or long-term conditions and mental health conditions.  The Counseling Center of Wayne and Holmes Counties C19’s Pilot project would serve an estimated 65 patients in Wayne and Holmes Counties, 100% of whom would be low-income.  The Counseling Center’s Pilot project was chosen because of its commitment to serving low-income patients.
  • The Mental Health Center of Greater Manchester, consortium with six sites in Manchester, NH.  The Mental Health Center of Greater Manchester seeks $559,634 for a Pilot project to provide video visits and remote treatment for mental health conditions and opioid and other substance use dependency to low-income patients and veterans in the City of Manchester and surrounding towns, including medically underserved areas.  The Mental Health Center of Greater Manchester’s proposed Pilot project would serve an estimated 11,000 patients, more than half of whom are low-income or veterans.  The Mental Health Center of Greater Manchester would use Pilot Program funding to upgrade its bandwidth and remove barriers to access, enabling it to increase the services it offers and the number of clients it serves.  The Mental Health Center of Greater Manchester’s Pilot project was selected because of its extensive experience providing mental health services and its focus on a significant number of low-income and veteran patients.
  • The MetroHealth System, Cleveland, OH.  The MetroHealth System’s Pilot project seeks $901,000 in Connected Care support to provide high-speed, low-cost broadband connectivity to low-income patients residing in Cuyahoga Metropolitan Housing Authority housing. The program will treat chronic or long-term and mental health conditions but will focus on patients with diabetes and hypertension by providing them with more options to receive necessary services and care management through remote patient monitoring, video visits, and health coaching.  The MetroHealth System’s Pilot project will serve an estimated 500 patients, 100% of whom are low-income.  The MetroHealth System pilot was chosen for its innovative approach to providing connectivity for patients residing in public housing and facilitating treatment of chronic or mental health conditions.
  • University of Florida – Department of Pediatrics, Gainesville, FL.  The University of Florida’s Pilot project seeks $612,000 in Connected Care support to provide patient-based connected remote monitoring, video visits or consults, other diagnostics, and remote treatment to low-income and veteran patients suffering from chronic health conditions and mental health conditions.  The University of Florida’s Pilot project would serve an estimated 10,000 patients, 100% of whom will be either low-income or veteran patients, with a focus on patients who travel long distances to receive care.  The University of Florida was selected because of its focus on expanding access to care and addressing broadband access issues for low-income pediatric and veteran patients.
  • University of Hawaii, JABSOM: Department of Family Medicine and Community Health Hawaii/Pacific Basin Area Health Education Center, Honolulu, HI.  University of Hawaii JABSOM (John A. Burns School of Medicine) seeks $320,535 in Connected Care support for patient connectivity services and a telehealth platform to provide video visits and remote treatment for a range of conditions including mental health conditions, opioid dependency, chronic conditions, and maternal health conditions and high-risk pregnancies.  University of Hawaii JABSOM’s Pilot project would serve an estimated 1,000 patients, at least 77% of whom are low-income or veterans, with a particular focus on patients in rural areas, low-income areas, and Health Professional Shortage Areas.  University of Hawaii JABSOM’s Pilot project will partner with the HRSA funded University of Hawaii Pacific Basin Telehealth Resource Center (PBTRC) and the Hawaii/Pacific Area Health Education Center (AHEC) to provide patient digital literacy support for participating patients.  University of Hawaii JABSOM’s Pilot project was selected because of its primary focus on expanding access to care and addressing broadband access issues for low-income, veteran, and vulnerable patient populations. 
  • University of Kentucky Healthcare, Lexington, KY.  University of Kentucky Healthcare’s Pilot project seeks $998,466 in Connected Care support to provide patient broadband connectivity to low-income patients in rural Kentucky suffering from cancer.  By providing patients with access to consistent broadband internet access service, University of Kentucky Healthcare’s Pilot project will use connected care services such as remote patient monitoring, video visits or consults, and remote treatment, to improve cancer treatment and compliance with treatment plans.  The University of Kentucky’s Pilot project would serve an estimated 1,323 patients, 23% of whom are low-income.  The University of Kentucky’s Pilot project was selected because of the state’s high burden of cancer patients and low broadband adoption.
  • Upstate Consortium, consortium with 18 sites in the Syracuse, NY Region.  Upstate Consortium seeks $2,050,200 in Connected Care support to provide video consults and remote patient monitoring services to patients suffering from a range of conditions, including diabetes and other chronic conditions, stroke, behavioral health conditions, infectious diseases, opioid dependency, maternal health conditions, and high-risk pregnancy.  Upstate Consortium’s Pilot project would reach an estimated 97,500 patients in Central New York, including rural areas, 45% of whom are low-income.  Approximately 250 patients will receive patient broadband through Upstate Consortium’s Pilot project.  Upstate Consortium was selected because of its focus on increasing access to care and addressing broadband access issues, and its potential impact on a large number of rural and low-income patients.
  • Wooster Community Hospital, Wooster, OH.  Wooster Community Hospital seeks $104,414 in Connected Care support to help uninsured or underinsured patients manage their care remotely following discharge.  Eligible patients will have one of the hospital’s four major diagnoses:  chronic heart failure, diabetes, COPD, or COVID-19.  Patients will receive remote, one-on-one care with an advanced practice nurse who will address symptoms, medication management, and disease-specific education.  Wooster Community Hospital hopes to serve 360 unique patients, an estimated 80% of whom will be low-income.  Wooster Community Hospital was selected because of its potential impact to its community and dedication to serving a large percentage of low-income patients.
Also:  Harlem Resident Rick DePofi Receives American Master Award At BerkleeNYC

To learn more about the FCC’s Connected Care Pilot Program, visit https://www.fcc.gov/wireline-competition/telecommunications-access-policy-division/connected-care-pilot-program.

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