Funds & Tools to Fight Opioid Crisis

HHS recently announced that the agency is making $350 million available in new funding to expand access to substance use disorders and mental health services at community health centers in the U.S.

The funds will be used to support health centers in implementing and advancing evidence-based strategies. These strategies will include expanding Medication-Assisted Treatment services,  with awards anticipated in September 2018 by HHS’s Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA)

One of the points suggested in the HHS Five Point Opioid Strategy which was launched in 2017, supports timely specific public health data as reported by CDC. To move forward, the HHS Office of the Chief Technology Officer held a meeting together with 50 teams of data experts and computer scientists to provide insights and solutions for the epidemic utilizing HHS data sets.

CMS has also released an updated version of the Medicare Opioid Prescription Mapping Tool. This tool is an interactive, web-based resource that visually presents opioid prescribing rates within Medicare Part D by geography. Communities can use the tool to help understand regional variations, target resources and then work to develop solutions for the opioid crisis.

AHRQ is using data from the Healthcare Cost and Utilization Project (HCUP) and has added 2017 data to their interactive query tool known as Fast Stats which includes inpatient data for 44 states and emergency department data for 30 states. AHRQ has also created an interactive map showing trends in opioid related hospitalizations which allows state-by-state comparisons as well as county and region-level statistics

On June 15, 2018, HRSA released the Notice of Funding Opportunity (NOFO) for seeking applications for the NOFO titled “Rural Communities Opioid Response Program-Planning” (RCORP-Planning) where all domestic public and private entities, nonprofits and for profits are eligible to apply and all services must be provided in high risk rural communities. The closing date for applications is July 30, 2018.

The estimated total program funding for RCORP is $15,000,000 with HRSA planning to award approximately 75 grants to rural communities. Awardees will receive up to $200,000 for one year to develop plans to implement opioid use disorder prevention, treatment, and recovery interventions designed to reduce opioid overdoses among rural populations. This also includes the 220 counties identified by CDC at being at risk for HIV and Hepatitis C infections due to injection drug use.

Go to to review the HRSA funding opportunity.

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