PARAMUS, N.J. — Care Plus NJ, Inc., a pioneer in integrated primary and behavioral health services for adults and children, announces it has been awarded $442,361 in funding from the Federal Communications Commission’s Wireline Competition Bureau to bolster its telehealth services. The funding will go toward the purchase of laptops, telehealth licenses, translation services, tablets, and a Wi-Fi access point to better equip employees and clients with the resources and technology needed for ongoing remote care amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
CarePlus is one of 62 organizations that received the funding as part of the FCC’s eleventh set of applications through its COVID-19 Telehealth Program, which was authorized by the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act. The federal program will disburse over $200 million in funding to provide immediate support to eligible healthcare providers by fully funding the telecommunications services, devices, and information services necessary to provide critical connection to care throughout the COVID-19 pandemic.
“As a Certified Community Behavioral Health Clinic, we were able to quickly transition to a secure virtual treatment setting, but challenges and barriers presented by the pandemic continue to impact access to care. This is especially concerning for those with behavioral health challenges who suffer from co-morbid medical conditions, as it is vitally important to monitor their physical and mental health needs,” said Laura Del Tufo, Senior Vice President, Finance and Administration, CarePlus. “This funding will enable us to not only remain connected with those who are most vulnerable throughout the remainder of the pandemic, but it will also increase ongoing access to care and improve health outcomes.”
The funding will provide 300 internet-enabled devices to clients who do not have the means to participate in telehealth sessions and are at risk of worsening behavioral health conditions, as well as equip 125 CarePlus employees with laptops and telehealth licenses to enable them to provide telehealth services from their homes or the office. The funding will also go toward the purchase of virtual patient portal solutions and translation services to improve quality of care and cultural competence for clients engaging in virtual services.
Since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, CarePlus has identified a critical need for group and individual treatment for those that require a high level of ongoing support, particularly those with chronic conditions and limited access to technology. The devices provided through this funding will help the agency transition, adjust and recreate the daily structured group meetings and activities via virtual support services. As internet access can also be a barrier to care, a portion of the funding will be utilized for a Wi-Fi access points to improve internet connection for clients with limited means and who have an acute need for remote services.
“We understand that it is essential to maintain connection, especially during this time of social distancing,” Del Tufo continued. “Our virtual solution is not only for the safety of our employees and those we serve, but it also promotes the health and wellbeing of our community as a whole as we continue to work to mitigate the spread of COVID-19.”
For more than 40 years, Care Plus NJ, Inc. (“CarePlus”) has been a pioneer in integrated primary and behavioral health services for adults and children in northern New Jersey. Based in Paramus, New Jersey, CarePlus is committed to providing the most comprehensive integrated treatment options through 72 programs designed to meet the full spectrum of health and wellness needs for adults and children in the communities it serves. Specializing in acute care, CarePlus provides immediate, high-quality health services and support programs for individuals in crisis. Nationally ranked for excellence in customer satisfaction by the Mental Health Corporations of America, CarePlus is mission driven ensuring that anyone who needs it has access to specialized care. To learn more about CarePlus and its wide range of programs and services, visit careplusnj.org.