June 17, 2020

Manchin Applauds FCC Approval Of West Virginia University Health System Telehealth Program Application

Washington, DC – Today, U.S. Senator Joe Manchin (D-WV) applauded the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) approval of West Virginia University Health System’s application for $780,899 to procure network upgrades, telemedicine carts, tablets, laptops, videoconferencing equipment and software licenses to provide telehealth services to West Virginians, to conduct virtual visits with patients in their homes, to give inpatients with and without COVID-19 symptoms the ability to use devices to talk with their families who are unable to visit due to distancing requirements, and to offer healthcare opportunities in remote locations to prevent the patient from traveling and risking exposure at the clinic during the COVID-19 pandemic. As a member of the Financial Services & General Government (FSGG) Appropriations Subcommittee, which oversees the FCC’s budget, Senator Manchin helped support $200 million in funding for the telehealth pilot program through the CARES Act.  

“West Virginia healthcare providers and patients have adjusted to new care systems due to the COVID-19 pandemic, including telephone-based appointments between providers and patients as well as systems for families to talk with loved ones in healthcare facilities they can’t visit,” said Senator Manchin. “On April 17th, I wrote to the FCC to advocate for the West Virginia University Health System application for funding to provide West Virginians with telehealth services, and today the FCC approved their application. This approval is great for Morgantown residents and will help West Virginians receive the care they need during this pandemic. I will continue to advocate for funding to help our healthcare providers across the Mountain State so they can care for their fellow West Virginians during this crisis.”

“Our telehealth program has become of critical importance to our patients and their ability to maintain continuity of care during the ongoing and ever-changing COVID-19 pandemic. In a state like West Virginia, where the incidence of chronic conditions like heart disease, diabetes, and cancer are higher than the national average, our patients’ lives depend on having regular access to their healthcare providers. When we had to halt in-person appointments because of COVID-19, telemedicine helped us bridge the gap to keep our patients and providers connected. We extend our sincerest appreciation to Senator Manchin and his team for helping us secure this funding, which will allow us to continue providing this vital service to people all across West Virginia,” said Albert L. Wright, Jr., president and CEO of the West Virginia University Health System.