Young, FCC Commissioner Discuss Expanded Telehealth In Federal Relief Package

Apr 8, 2020

FCC Commissioner Brendan Carr, left, and U.S. Sen. Todd Young (R-Ind.) hold a video press conference to discuss expanded telehealth funding in the federal CARES Act. (Screenshot of Zoom call)

U.S. Sen. Todd Young (R-Ind.) and Federal Communications Commission Commissioner Brendan Carr say telehealth services can soon be expanded with money from the third phase of federal COVID-19 relief.

Health care providers can apply for funding from a $200 million program within the recently-passed federal CARES Act. That money can be used to provide devices and internet connection to patients who need it to engage in telehealth.

And Carr says it’s not just for coronavirus patients.

“You can treat everything from heart disease to diabetes," Carr says. "You can get mental health counseling.”

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Young says keeping patients out of brick-and-mortar facilities who don’t need to go in is critical in the current crisis.

“That frees up additional health care capacity, whether it’s our workforce or actual space that’s available to serve our corona patients,” Young says.

Young says he thinks the convenience of telehealth can also help prevent some medical issues from becoming more acute.

Contact Brandon at bsmith@ipbs.org or follow him on Twitter at @brandonjsmith5.

This is a rapidly evolving story, and we are working hard to bring you the most up-to-date information. However, we recommend checking the websites of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention or the Indiana State Department of Health for the most recent numbers of COVID-19 cases.