FCC Distributes $100 Million to Health Systems in Order to Improve Telehealth Infrastructure 

After the CARES Act allocated $200 million for telehealth funding in March, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) distributed over $100 million in funding to approximately 300 healthcare facilities to further aid telehealth during the pandemic. However, smaller, not larger, rural hospitals need more funding to improve telehealth systems. Since 2010, about 130 rural hospitals have closed and the pandemic has further exacerbated the crisis. Telehealth could help rural providers deliver care to their patients, but issues with poor broadband internet service and limited at-home access to technology make virtual care difficult. In contrast, larger hospitals likely have more resources to provide virtual care. Allocating resources specifically to smaller rural hospitals, rather than larger hospitals who not struggle accessing and incorporating telehealth technology, would allow these facilities to more effectively provide virtual care.