Hawai‘i to Receive Federal Funding to Expand Telehealth Services

April 23, 2020, 10:32 AM HST (Updated April 23, 2020, 10:32 AM)
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Hawai‘i is set to receive more than $1.6 million in federal funding to help the state respond to the COVID-19 pandemic in rural and underserved communities.

Specifically, the funding will provide critical resources to rural hospitals as well as support expanded use of telehealth services across the state. Funding was awarded by the US Department of Health and Human Services.

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“We need to make sure people get the care they need during this public health crisis,” said Sen, Brian Schatz, a member of the Senate Appropriations Committee. “This new federal funding will expand access to much-needed health services, especially in our rural communities.”

The Hawai‘i Department of Health will receive a $843,170 federal grant to help rural hospitals purchase more personal protective equipment, boost testing capacity, and fund other critical functions. The Pacific Basin Telehealth Resource Center at the University of Hawai‘i will receive a $828,571 federal grant to provide expertise and customized telehealth technical assistance to health care providers across the state.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has encouraged the use of telehealth during the coronavirus outbreak to expand access to care while minimizing the risk of transmitting the virus.

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