Telehealth Capital Program Will Support Deployment of Innovative Telehealth Tools and Improve Access to Quality Health Care in Underserved Urban and Rural Communities
Partnership between New York State and Philanthropic Partners will Help Close the Health Care Equity Gap
Governor Kathy Hochul today announced a $3 million grant program to invest in new technologies that will improve access and adoption of telehealth in underserved communities. This program will support community health providers to purchase audiovisual and remote monitoring devices and work with other community partners to establish physical telehealth spaces in places such as libraries, homeless shelters, pharmacies and other locations. $150,000 will be awarded to each of ten regions of the State. The grants will be matched by private philanthropic support a sponsored project of Rockefeller Philanthropy Advisors, established through the generosity of Eric and Wendy Schmidt at the recommendation of Schmidt Futures, in partnership with the New York State Health Foundation. The grants are intended to provide public-private support for innovations in health care delivery. The grants are intended to provide public-private support for innovations in health care delivery. Applications will open January 4th, 2022 and more information can be found here.
"Every New Yorker should have access to high-quality health care no matter where they live," Governor Hochul said. "Telehealth is an important tool that brings health care to underserved communities and saves New Yorkers both time and money. Through these investments, we are working to make sure that everyone has access to high-quality health care and can see their doctor."
The COVID-19 pandemic showed that telehealth is a critical tool to expand access for low-income communities. Throughout the crisis, New Yorkers enthusiastically embraced telehealth not only because of the need to socially distance but also because telehealth made it easier to access high-quality care without the time and cost of traveling to a doctor. This is especially true to meet the need for continuous care in mental health and substance abuse treatment.
The COVID-19 pandemic accelerated the adoption of telehealth. These grants will ensure that all New Yorkers benefit from these innovations and that no one is left behind. This grant program is one part of the State's broader effort to expand and improve access to telehealth. In the FY 2022 budget, New York eliminated obsolete location requirements and allowed more mental health and substance use disorder providers to provide remote care. New York also launched a series of online training programs to help providers learn best practices in adopting telehealth available here.
New York State is leading on telehealth innovations, which has the potential to change the ways New Yorkers access quality health care.
Department of Health Acting Executive Deputy Commissioner Kristin Proud said, "Telehealth is a critical component to the future of health care in New York State. By expanding access to telehealth, we are removing barriers that will help expand the care and treatment New Yorkers need and deserve in a timely manner. These investments will also provide high quality and reliable care to historically underserved communities, increasing equity and helping to close the gaps in health care."
Co-Founder of Schmidt Futures and former CEO of Google Eric Schmidt said, "The pandemic has shown us that telehealth is an indispensable part of an effective healthcare system. We need to empower patients with the devices and infrastructure necessary to take full advantage of telehealth. This initiative underscores New York's firm commitment to innovative solutions that keep all New Yorkers safe and healthy."