Several skilled nursing facilities have been beneficiaries of a federal program to support connected care services during the coronavirus pandemic.

In late March, the Federal Communications Commission approved $200 million in congressional funds to help healthcare providers offer remote care options during the emergency period. One awardee, New Jersey-based United Methodist Communities, plans to use its nearly $910,000 grant to fund a remote patient monitoring platform and telehealth software licenses. 

The technology will enable the SNF’s staff to prevent falls and other dangerous conditions “without requiring excessive in-person monitoring,” Larry Carlson, president and CEO, said in a LinkedIn post. Carlson also expects the new technology to allow remote consultations during staff shortages or when COVID-19-related issues delay access to specialty care. 

“This funding may very well be a game changer not only for UMC, but for the senior living industry,” he wrote.

Other long-term care grant recipients to date include New York’s  Parker Jewish Institute for Health Care and Rehabilitation, a 527-bed facility, which received almost $98,000 for telehealth services and remote monitoring devices. Chicago-based Council for Jewish Elderly was awarded nearly $7,000 to provide telehealth services in its SNF and outpatient counseling departments for over 350 older adults, to limit in-person care as much as possible to prevent the spread of COVID-19. 

Eligible healthcare providers can submit applications for funding to the FCC. Grants are awarded on a rolling basis “until the funds are exhausted or until the current pandemic has ended,” the FCC  stated.