Cantwell Announces $556,000 in New Telehealth Funds for Providers in Everett, Yakima

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, U.S. Senator Maria Cantwell (D-WA), the Ranking Member of the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation, announced $556,085 in new telehealth funds coming to healthcare providers in Everett and Yakima. The funding comes from the Coronavirus Aid, Recovery, and Economic Security (CARES) Act and was issued by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC).

“COVID-19 has changed the healthcare delivery system, and many clinics throughout Washington state have transitioned to using telehealth as the first contact with patients. Telehealth has become an important way to protect the public during this crisis,” said Senator Cantwell.

The telehealth grants went out to the following entities:

  • $247,819 to Compass Health in Everett, for tablets, smartphones, telemedicine carts, and network upgrades to offer mental and behavioral health care services via telehealth, including individual, family, and group therapy, as well as psychotherapy, psychiatric evaluation, and medication monitoring, with over 500 staff already trained to deliver treatment remotely;
  • $19,736 for Providence Regional Medical Center in Everett, for a laptop computer and videoconferencing equipment that will be used to treat patients with COVID-19 who are in home quarantine with real-time provider consultations via a secure audio-visual connection and by using equipment to conduct remote monitoring with already provided thermometers and pulse oximeters
  • $288,530 to Community Health of Central Washington in Yakima, for a telehealth platform, network upgrades, and laptop computers to provide medical, dental, behavioral health, and other distanced care services to low-income and agricultural worker populations in Central Washington in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Senator Cantwell is a strong proponent of telehealth and has long stressed the need for comprehensive broadband infrastructure to support telehealth. In January, she introduced bipartisan legislation to ensure that billions of dollars from a public auction of C-Band spectrum are invested to bridge the digital divide and enable next generation public safety services. At a Senate Commerce Committee hearing in May on the state of broadband infrastructure in America, Senator Cantwell emphasized the importance of telehealth healthcare services throughout the COVID-19 crisis. “Broadband activity can be a great equalizer in this country. But, if access is not there, then we can see right here and now during the COVID crisis the challenges to our education system, our healthcare system, and just basic contact with family and loved ones,” she said.

This latest funding announcement follows prior CARES Act telehealth awards of almost $5.7 million to healthcare entities throughout Washington state.