Tester Announces $679,000 for the University of Montana College of Health to Expand Telehealth Services

Funding will be used to expand telehealth services to Montana’s underserved, rural, and Tribal communities

U.S. Senator Jon Tester today announced $679,441 in new Federal Communications Commission (FCC) pandemic relief funding for the University of Montana College of Health in Missoula to purchase telemedicine kits to enable critical, remote telehealth services and to provide internet connected devices for remote patient monitoring services during the pandemic for underserved, rural, and Tribal populations within the state.

“The COVID-19 pandemic has shown that telehealth services are more essential than ever for folks in rural Montana who often need to drive hours to access basic health care,” said Tester. “I’m proud to have secured these resources for the University of Montana College of Health, which will be a game changer for our state’s underserved communities that need it the most, and I will continue to aggressively hold the FCC accountable to ensure that Montana is never left behind.”

The funding for the University of Montana College of Health in Missoula comes in the second round of the FCC’s COVID-19 Telehealth Program Awards, which was established as a part of the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act.

Tester has long fought to expand access to telehealth in Montana. He secured funding for Montana telehealth programs in the CARES Act, and successfully fought for those provisions expanding access to telehealth to be made permanent. Tester also called for audio-only telehealth reimbursements to level the playing field for seniors and others without reliable broadband access during the coronavirus outbreak, and successfully secured $2.15 billion for the Department of Veterans Affairs to bolster its telehealth capabilities through increased telework and call center capabilities in the CARES Act.