The Federal Communications Commission has awarded CHAS Health an $804,641 grant to improve and enhance telehealth.
The grant will help the Spokane nonprofit pay for remote monitoring equipment, telemedicine carts, laptops, videoconferencing equipment and network upgrades. The grant is intended to help CHAS treat patients with COVID-19 who do not require hospitalization, but might need to be checked on or receive care remotely .
Several CHAS clinics countywide are testing for COVID-19 and offering testing to anyone, regardless of whether they have insurance coverage.
Telehealth in rural areas , while potentially useful, is not always feasible due to limited broadband options.
Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers sent a letter to the Federal Communications Commission asking the agency to finalize rules for TV White Spaces, which can be used to continue to build out broadband capabilities in rural areas like Eastern Washington .
“During this uncertain time, we all have to adapt to continue to serve our communities. This grant is fantastic news and will allow CHAS Health to expand their telehealth services so they can serve patients remotely,” McMorris Rodgers said in a news release.
“However, in order to access these services, people need to be connected. That’s why I sent a letter to continue to support the build-out of rural broadband in areas like Eastern Washington so we can close the digital divide.”