WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, U.S. Senators Susan Collins (R-Maine) and Angus King (I-Maine) announced that the Federal Communications Commission’s (FCC) COVID-19 Telehealth Program has awarded $516,160 to two health centers to improve and expand telehealth services. Specifically, the FCC has awarded $270,172 to Central Maine Medical Center and $245,988 to Portland Community Health Center to upgrade technology at each facility and improve remote health care access for Maine people.
“As Maine people continue to practice social distancing to protect themselves and their neighbors, we must tap into available technology to meet urgent health care needs,” said Senators Collins and King in a joint statement. “We welcome this funding which will improve the way that Mainers connect with their providers, and encourage health care access in the comfort and safety of the home.”
The funding is allocated as follows:
· Central Maine Medical Center, in Lewiston – awarded $270,172 for computers, tablets, network upgrades, and a telehealth platform to design, implement, and support an integrated telemedicine application across three sites for use of video telehealth – including specialty consultations between a provider in a distant facility and a patient in a separate facility.
· Portland Community Health Center, in Portland – awarded $245,988 for a telehealth platform, computers, tablets, diagnostic equipment, mobile hotspots, and other telehealth equipment to monitor and provide care for patients in isolation who have tested positive for COVID-19. The funding will also set up dedicated telehealth rooms for all patients without the ability to participate in a remote telehealth visit, and go towards deploying a portable teleclinic system to monitor the vitals of patients without physically being in the same room.
The FCC’s COVID-19 Telehealth Program was authorized by the CARES Act, which both Senators Collins and King voted for, to provide telehealth services during the coronavirus pandemic.