U.S. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) announced Thursday that Baptist Health had received $873,982 to expand its telehealth services at eight Kentucky hospitals, including its facility in Corbin.
The federal funding, distributed by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), was made available by the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act. McConnell introduced the CARES Act, the largest economic rescue package in American history, and led it to enactment in about a week.
Baptist Health can use the CARES Act funding for technology, software and network upgrades to help provide health care to at-risk patients. The eight hospitals are located in Corbin, Floyd, La Grange, Lexington, Louisville, Madisonville, Paducah, and Richmond.
“Baptist Health is doing great work to help Kentuckians access necessary medical care during the coronavirus crisis,” McConnell said. “As the only congressional leader not from New York or California, I’m constantly looking to provide for Middle America, especially Kentucky. This funding will help strengthen Baptist Health’s telehealth programs, which provide an innovative way for Kentuckians to reach their providers during these challenging times. I’m proud of the work they’re doing for families across the Commonwealth.”
“We are thrilled to have the FCC recognize our efforts with telehealth. Thanks to Sen. Mitch McConnell for his leadership and support of the CARES Act to assist healthcare providers at a time when they are most needed,” said Brett Oliver, MD, Chief Medical Information Officer for Baptist Health. “This award helps us fund digital efforts to safely connect our patients and our providers. Now, each of our medical group providers in all specialties can see their own patients. In some of our rural areas of the Commonwealth, the availability of providers for certain medical subspecialties is limited. The video options allow us to spread the care in certain specialties to a broader patient population without the risk of exposure to COVID-19.”
In addition to these federal funds, the CARES Act has had an $11 billion impact in Kentucky so far. McConnell’s legislation has delivered $3.6 billion in relief to address urgent housing, transportation, healthcare, education and economic development priorities.
His legislation also created the Paycheck Protection Program, which is helping more than 46,000 Kentucky small businesses access approximately $5.2 billion in loans to keep their lights on and employees on payroll. Kentucky families have also received more than $3.2 billion in Economic Impact Payments from the U.S. Treasury.