Efforts to Help Telehealth Usage

HRSA https://www.hrsa.gov awarded $8 million in a new program to fund the Telehealth Broadband Pilot (TBP) program, a 3 year pilot signed 2020 by FCC, HHS, and USDA.  

The TBP program’s goal is to create the Rural Telehealth Initiative a cross cutting, multi-department initiative to coordinate programs, to expand broadband, and increase telehealth access in rural communities.

Through the TBP program, $6.5 million was awarded to the National Telehealth Technology Assessment Resource Center (TTAC) based out of the Alaska Native Tribal Health Consortium https://anthc.org. The TTAC works in the area of technology assessment and selects appropriate technologies to use for a variety of telehealth services.

TTAC will implement the TBP in three other state community locations, including Michigan, Texas, and West Virginia. TTAC will also work with the Rural Telehealth Initiative’s federal partners to improve rural communities’ access to broadband and telehealth services through existing funding opportunities and grant programs.

HRSA’s Federal Office of Rural Health Policy https://hrsa.gov/rurahealth/index.html has also awarded the Telehealth-Focused Rural Health Research Center through the University of Arkansas, $1.5 million to evaluate the TBP program across all participating communities and to serve as a resource on telehealth for rural communities.

In other news at HRSA, posted Grant Notice (HRSA-21-082) titled Evidence-Based Telehealth Network Program. The grant funding has estimated total program funding for $4,900,000. The estimated application due date is March 22, 2021.

The purpose of the Evidence-Based Telehealth Network Program is to demonstrate how healthcare systems can increase access by utilizing Direct-to-Patient Telehealth Technologies to establish an evidence base to use to assess the effectiveness of Direct-To-Patient Telehealth Care.

Applicants need to provide Direct-to-Consumer Telehealth Services to patients within established telehealth networks. This can be done by partnering with local established healthcare facilities within the target service area to enable access to care in Medically Underserved Areas, and Mental Health and Primary Care Health Professional Shortage Areas.

Eligible applicants can include state, city, county governments, small businesses, private institutions of higher education, individuals, for profit organizations, Native American tribal organizations, plus other entities.

Go to https://www.grants.gov/custom/printForecastDetails.jsp for more information on the grant forecast notice.

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