HHS awards $16m to rural health care providers
HHS has awarded more than $16 million in grants to improve access to health care in rural communities, according to a press release.
The grants, distributed by the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) and administered by the Federal Office of Rural Health Policy (FORHP), will benefit 60 rural communities in 32 states, along with seven rural health research centers, officials said. They include funds intended to expand the use of telehealth technology for veterans and other patients, assist providers with quality improvement, and research support.
“Rural and frontier communities face unique geographic barriers to obtaining comprehensive and convenient health care services,” Jim Macrae, MA, MPP, acting HRSA administrator, said in the press release. “These grants are designed to help individuals and communities access the high-quality care they need to live healthier lives.”
The more than $16 million in funds have been divided among four grant programs. They include:
- The Telehealth Grant Program, in which 21 community health organizations will each receive approximately $300,000 annually for up to 3 years to build sustainable telehealth programs and networks in medically underserved areas;
- Rural Health Research Centers, in which seven research centers will each receive $700,000 annually for 4 years to conduct rural-focused health services research to help providers better understand the challenges faced by their local communities;
- Small Health Care Provider Quality Improvement, a 3-year project in which 21 primary care providers will receive $130,000 to $200,000 annually to improve the quality of care for populations with high rates of chronic conditions; and
- Flex Rural Veterans Access Program, in which three grantees will receive $300,000 annually for up to 3 years, with the goal of using telehealth and health information technology to bring mental health and other services to veterans living in rural communities.
A full list of the grant recipients can be viewed here: http://www.hrsa.gov/about/news/2016tables/ruralhealth.
“These grants encourage and support collaboration at the community level, expanding and strengthening the safety net with networks of care in rural areas,” Tom Morris, MPA, FORHP associate administrator, said in a press release. “Collaboration among different providers of health and social services within a community means shared resources, shared expertise and shared innovations.”