Beam’s Guide to Telehealth Grants

Written by: Jacob Wisda

Telehealth Grants Guide the Future of Healthcare

In the past few years, telehealth services have dramatically expanded. Between 2019 and 2020, the number of virtual visits increased by up to 175 times [1]. While Covid played a role in this trend, most experts agree remote care is the future of medicine. With many clinics switching remote services, all they need are telehealth grants to pay for it. 

To assist this change, our federal and state governments have embraced virtual care. Between the CARES Act, FCC grants, and Rural Health Information Hub, hundreds of millions of dollars are up for grabs. Clinics, patients, and our government all see the same thing. Remote care is an investment we can’t pass up on.

Whether your practice has already switched to remote care or not, telehealth grants help you provide the best virtual service. And to help make the most of this opportunity, Beam is here to explain the ins and outs of these grants. While funding telehealth services takes time and effort, the reward is worth your investment. 

Covid-19 and the Funding Landscape

The Coronavirus has changed the way we practice medicine. Not only has it pushed clinics to innovate, but it’s stressed the importance of grants. That’s why, in December of last year alone, the FCC awarded an additional $42.7 million in telehealth funding [2]. With more FCC funds on the horizon, many clinics are scrambling for their own telehealth grants.

Even though these financial opportunities are unprecedented, the application process is fairly standard. More often than not, your practice needs to go through a 60 day waiting period before receiving a reward. And as always, clinics that apply early are more likely to secure telehealth funding.

While Covid-19 has increased the number of telehealth grants, the conversation doesn’t stop there. Practices that apply for grants without a long-term strategy aren’t likely to earn them. So, careful preparation is still important if you want the best expansion of virtual care. 

Strategic Planning for Telehealth Grants

More often than not, funding opportunities are time-sensitive. Between the announcement and distribution of a grant, your practice needs to hit the ground running with a great application. And depending on the size of your clinic, how you go about strategizing varies. 

Bigger, more established providers should turn to their grants team or office of sponsored programs [3]. These teams will then collaborate with your frontline medical workers and IT staff. Together, they’ll outline the services you provide and the technology needed for a telehealth investment. Finally, they’ll write an application that outlines how you will spend the telehealth grant. 

While bigger providers are used to this application process, other clinics may need to branch out. Smaller businesses should consider building a grants team from scratch. After all, you never know when the next funding opportunity will come up. But if that’s too expensive, you can hire a freelance grant writer for the duration of this project. 

Whether you go freelance or internal for your grant application, you’ll need to take care of some administrative work. First, you’ll need to set up accounts at SAM.gov and Grants.gov. Next, provide your articles of incorporation, and evidence of 501(c)(3) status on every application. The last thing you want to do is submit an ineligible application, so take these steps seriously. 

Telehealth Funding for your Specialty 

Federal and state telehealth grants are a financial opportunity no clinic should ignore. But at the same time, there are other ways to grow your practice. At its core, telehealth stresses the accessibility of healthcare. So, depending on the service you offer, there are other funding avenues you could take. 

The Department of Health and Human Services has plenty of smaller organizations under its umbrella. One example is SAMHSA, the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration [4]. On their grants page, SAMHSA offers funds to clinics that help with addiction and psychological disorders. In this case, general SAMHSA funds can go toward your targeted telehealth services. 

SAMHSA is only one specialized organization clinics can turn to. The National Institutes of Health, Health Resources and Service Administration, and Administration for Community Living all offer their own grants. And each of these organizations can empower your telehealth practice. 

How to Spend Your Grant Money

While applying for telehealth grants is no easy process, the real battle starts after claiming your award. Careful spending will make or break your telehealth expansion. With wise investments, you can vastly improve your quality of care. But by spending your grant haphazardly, you’ve wasted a valuable opportunity. 

First and foremost, your clinic needs the best telehealth software. You’ll need reliable video conferencing, integrated patient chat, and data storage that compiles notes and patient medical records. Sometimes, checking off these boxes means purchasing more than one program. But with Beam’s service, you receive an all-in-one telehealth platform that makes digital care simple. 

Once your software is covered, you should invest in the right tools. Although a webcam and internet source for each practitioner is necessary, the expenses don’t stop there. Depending on your practice, you should also purchase home telehealth kits. These easy-to-ship kits include all the tools needed to perform a basic checkup. On top of that, they send data back to your clinic for review. 

Remote care doesn’t always demand the most expensive technology. But reliable, easy-to-use tools ensure that your practice can accommodate any number of patients. If your business received a telehealth grant, the talent is already there. You only need the right equipment to embrace virtual treatment head-on. 

No matter how you look at it, remote care presents great opportunities for clinics and patients. Expanding virtual healthcare might take time and planning, but it’s more than worth the effort. And with the telehealth grants on offer, it might just be economical, too. If you’re looking for the right platform to optimize your telehealth services, click here to see what Beam can offer your practice.

Sources:

[1] https://www.mckinsey.com/industries/healthcare-systems-and-services/our-insights/telehealth-a-quarter-trillion-dollar-post-covid-19-reality#

[2] https://mhealthintelligence.com/news/fcc-announces-42.7m-for-5th-round-of-covid-19-telehealth-funding

[3] https://www.vidyohealth.com/telemedicine/how-to-approach-u-s-federal-telehealth-grants-in-2021

[4] https://www.samhsa.gov/grants

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