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HealthPartners receives $1 million grant from FCC for telemedicine

The funds will help Regions Hospital in St. Paul and critical-access hospitals in western Wisconsin purchase a telehealth platform and improve virtual access for patients.

December 3, 2021

BLOOMINGTON, Minn. – HealthPartners has been awarded a $1 million grant from the Federal Communications Commission to advance its telemedicine capabilities. The money will help Regions Hospital in St. Paul and HealthPartners’ critical-access hospitals in western Wisconsin purchase virtual patient care equipment and access to a telehealth platform. Physicians will be able to remotely examine, diagnose and monitor patients with chronic conditions to preserve access to care and reduce economic health care disparities in underserved communities and rural areas.

“We’re grateful for this grant that allows us to purchase software and cellular-enabled smart devices for acute care and chronic-disease management that are simple for patients to use with the push of a button,” said Jerome Siy, MD, HealthPartners medical director of value-based care. “Patients who need continuous care can be treated remotely from their homes.”

The grant is part of the FCC’s COVID-19 Telehealth Program, which has had $150 million approved and another $100 million to be allocated in the future to 75 health care providers across the U.S. The effort supports health systems in their pursuit to make care more convenient and affordable for patients. The program provides reimbursement for telecommunications services, information services and connected devices needed for telemedicine visits during the pandemic.

Funds will help purchase tools, such as tablets, to connect clinicians and patients for real-time exams using a camera, otoscope, stethoscope, thermometer, blood-pressure cuff and pulse oximeter. Improved virtual-care capabilities will bring the high-end specialty care Regions Hospital is known for to areas with limited resources, such as Amery, Hudson and Westfields (New Richmond) hospitals; reduce patients’ travel distance, hospital transfers and lengths of stay, and alleviate hospital capacities.

Telehealth services at HealthPartners pre-date the COVID-19 pandemic and are used for a variety of reasons. Since January 2020, the organization has amplified its use and completed more than 1.6 million video patient visits. The HealthPartners Hospital@Home program, which gives hospital-level care inside a patient’s home, has treated 321 patients virtually since November 2019 (217 year-to-date in 2021). The Regions Hospital Burn Center, nationally recognized for its work with health systems across the Midwest, has had 1,528 video visits, including 44 acute consults, in 2021.

About HealthPartners

HealthPartners is a consumer-governed, nonprofit health care organization with a mission to improve health and well-being in partnership with members, patients and the community. For more information, visit

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