Georgia's Rural Hospitals Get Over $5M For Telehealth, COVID-19 Testing
Rural hospitals across the country are getting nearly $162 million to fight COVID-19, federal officials said Wednesday.
The funds will help digitally connect patients in need of medical consultation and expand testing for the coronavirus, according to the Department of Health and Human Services.
Georgia's Department of Community Health is getting $4,890,386 under the program. Another $828,571 was awarded for telehealth in the state.
The funding is part of an initiative to provide those in isolated parts of the country with access to medical services, as well as reduce the strain on hospitals treating patients with COVID-19.
HHS also announced the launch of a new website dedicated to educating health care providers and consumers on how to use telehealth resources.
The funding, which was allocated from the recently passed Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act, allocates $150 million to hospitals through the Small Rural Hospital Improvement Program. An additional $11.5 million will go to the telehealth resource centers.
Small rural hospitals will each receive roughly $84,000, which they can use for protective equipment and COVID-19 testing resources.
The telehealth resource centers will use their funding to educate rural hospitals on how to provide digital consultation options and make health care services accessible using video conferencing technology.
The Georgia Partnership for Telehealth, Inc. received $828,571 to distribute in the state.
Earlier this month, HHS loosened restrictions on using technology to connect with doctors, including allowing doctors to use video apps like FaceTime and Zoom for consultations.