Sarbanes, Baltimore Congressional Delegation Announce $1 Million to Help Johns Hopkins Expand Telehealth Capabilities for COVID-19 Patients

Congressman John Sarbanes (D-Md.) and the Baltimore Congressional Delegation today announced $1 million in federal funding for Johns Hopkins Health Systems (JHHS) 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 – including 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, increasing access to care for communities of color and low-income residents, who have been hit especially hard,” the lawmakers said. “Johns Hopkins has been a leader in 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.”

This new federal funding comes from the Federal Communications Commission’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.