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Remarks to Press on HRSA Telehealth and COVID-19 Funding Announcement

Eric D. Hargan
Hubert H. Humphrey Building
April 22, 2020
Washington, D.C.

As Prepared for Delivery

Good morning, everyone, and thank you for joining us today.

Today, HRSA is making a couple of important announcements about a vital issue for our coronavirus response, and a key priority for the Trump Administration in general: how to support our healthcare providers on the frontlines, especially those in rural communities.

First, HRSA is announcing significant new funding for rural hospitals and for telehealth resource centers, which Administrator Engels will discuss in more detail. That funding will be complemented by a number of other funding sources HHS is working to provide for rural providers in particular.

Second, we are announcing a new HHS website to provide information on how patients and providers can maximize use of telehealth, especially during this pandemic.

When you look at telehealth, in just the last month and a half or so, we’ve leaped about 7 or 8 years into the future. 

What sound to many like dry, obscure flexibilities in regulations and reimbursement is translating into millions of Americans getting access to health care more safely and more conveniently—and we want everyone to know that.  

That’s why HHS launched a new telehealth website today, telehealth.hhs.gov, managed by HRSA, to serve as a resource for both providers and patients to maximize these telehealth opportunities.

For patients, the website provides resources so that they can learn more about accessing health care through telehealth. 

For providers, the website is a resource to help them incorporate telehealth into their practices. 

As some of you know, I grew up in a rural town in southern Illinois, so I maintain a special interest in ensuring accessibility of care for all Americans, including those in rural areas.

We all know telehealth is one of the long-term solutions to help improve access, and we’ve made it a priority throughout the Trump administration.

During the pandemic, telehealth is more vital than ever, and this new one-stop resource will help Americans avoid having to look up telehealth information in so many different places. 

With that, I want to turn things over to Administrator Engels, to talk about additional support HRSA is providing for rural hospitals and telehealth.

Content created by Speechwriting and Editorial Division 
Content last reviewed on April 22, 2020