Media Contact: Brittany McCraw
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
October 26, 2021
KNOXVILLE, Tenn.- Cherokee Health Systems is receiving $861,560 from the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) in an effort to improve health outcomes in low-income and underserved patient populations. Last month, the FCC approved additional applications for funding commitments through its COVID-19 Telehealth Program. Cherokee was one of 72 health care providers selected nationwide to receive an award. The FCC funding will be invested into the advancement of Cherokee’s telehealth services.
“This funding will enable Cherokee to significantly enhance access to needed telehealth primary medical and behavioral health services, as well as assist patient self-management of their chronic health problems. The COVID-19 pandemic has amplified the digital divide and other disparities that contribute to health inequities. We aim to invest in virtual health technologies that improve access and support quality care for everyone in the communities we serve,” said Dr. Parinda Khatri, Cherokee’s Chief Clinical Officer.
Cherokee will use the money to fund and distribute over 1,000 telehealth kits to patients across all 23 clinics. Each mobile kit will include a Bluetooth blood pressure cuff, a glucometer, a pulse oximeter, and a scale weight. The devices will be connected to a new app that will allow patients to remotely monitor their health. For those patients who don’t have access to a cell phone, Cherokee plans to send an electronic tablet home with them for a few months at a time. Cherokee has plans to develop launch its new app towards the end of this year.
The FCC’s COVID-19 Telehealth Program supports the efforts of health care providers to continue serving their patients by providing reimbursement for telecommunications services, information services, and connected devices necessary to enable telehealth during the COVID-19 pandemic. The FCC has now approved a total of over $83 million in funding applications for Round 2 of its COVID-19 Telehealth Program. Round 2 is a $249.95 million federal initiative that builds on the $200 million programs established as part of the CARES Act. As outlined in the Round 2 Report and Order, once $150 million in funding has been committed, the FCC’s Wireline Competition Bureau will announce an opportunity for all remaining applicants to supplement their applications, as required by Congress. After all remaining applicants have the opportunity to supplement, the remaining program funding will be committed. You can learn more about the FCC’s recent announcement here.
To learn more about Cherokee Health Systems, please visit www.cherokeehealth.com
About Cherokee Health Systems Since 1960, CHS has been committed to ensuring Tennesseans get access to effective, high-quality care. CHS is a Federally Qualified Health Center that serves 75,000 people annually. We offer a wide array of comprehensive health services, including primary care, behavioral health, dental, and pharmacy. All of our services are available to children, adults, and seniors on an ability to pay basis. CHS is a TennCare (Medicaid) and Medicare provider. In addition, CHS accepts commercial insurance for payment.