May 28, 2020

Baltimore Delegation Announces $1 Million to Help Johns Hopkins Expand Telehealth Capabilities for COVID-19 Patients

Today, members of Baltimore’s congressional delegation, including U.S. Senators Chris Van Hollen and Ben Cardin and Congressmen Dutch Ruppersberger, John P. Sarbanes, and Kweisi Mfume (all D-Md.), announced that Johns Hopkins Health Systems (JHHS) will receive $1 million from the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to establish a remote intensive care unit and invest in telehealth equipment to care for COVID-19 patients.

This federal funding will allow JHHS to deploy telehealth technology like cameras, tablets, and more to diagnose and treat COVID-19 patients from a safe distance. The telehealth program will include a COVID-19 Ambulatory Response Team and will serve patients in the surrounding communities through a regional public-private partnership.

“As Maryland continues to battle the COVID-19 pandemic, we must strengthen our state’s telehealth capacity so that providers can deliver care safely. Johns Hopkins’ telehealth program will help reach patients living in underserved areas and will increase access to care for communities of color and low-income residents that have been hit especially hard by the pandemic,” the lawmakers said. “Johns Hopkins has been a leader on telehealth, and we are proud to continue fighting for additional federal funds to support Maryland’s hospitals and health care providers during this challenging time.”

These funds were awarded through the FCC’s COVID-19 Telehealth Program, which was established by the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act. The COVID-19 Telehealth Program is intended to help health care providers reach areas where it is difficult to provide traditional care due either to distance or patient and provider safety. Patients benefiting from telehealth are typically low-income and based in medically underserved areas. More information about the program may be found here.