The Federal Communications Commission approved funds Wednesday for four Los Angeles-area health care programs to provide telehealth services during the coronavirus pandemic.
Since the adoption of the COVID-19 Telehealth Program, the FCC has acted to review applications and approve funding so that more patients can be treated safely at home. The nationwide program — authorized by the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act — is focused on mental as well as physical health.
The Central Neighborhood Health Foundation in Los Angeles was awarded $281,231 for desktop computers, laptop computers, tablets, telemedicine carts, video monitors, and a telehealth platform subscription to screen and triage patients with COVID-19 symptoms while they are at home or at the health center. The tools will allow staff to keep monitoring patients with COVID-19 to ensure that symptoms continue to stabilize by checking vital signs remotely, including blood pressure, oxygen saturation, temperature and pulse rate, and to dramatically increase the number of patients without COVID-19 symptoms or conditions who are treated remotely at home.
The East Valley Community Health Center in West Covina was awarded $219,251 for desktop computers, videoconferencing equipment, network upgrades and a telehealth platform license to support telehealth capabilities that make it easier for patients to access care, such as family medicine for adults and children, chronic disease management, nutrition counseling and behavioral health, and will also allow health care providers to more efficiently document and maintain a high standard of care for patients.
Hillsides, in Los Angeles, was awarded $225,359 for laptops, videoconferencing software licenses and web cameras to overcome cost barriers to expanding virtual medical services for individuals and communities impacted by COVID-19, particularly those at highest risk, including virtual mental health counseling, care coordination and psychiatric services.
Mission City Community Network, in North Hills, was awarded $308,471 for smartphones, laptop computers, tablets, network upgrades and remote monitoring equipment to provide to patients for use at home, as well as tablets for home use for high-risk patients to help manage care needs without coming to the clinic.