Biden administration invests more than $19M to expand telehealth
HHS will award approximately $19.2 million to support “telehealth innovation and quality nationwide,” the agency said in a press release.
Data indicate that the use of telehealth by health care professionals and patients significantly increased during the COVID-19 pandemic. However, its uptake has been uneven throughout the country.
An analysis published in MMWR involving 245 health centers throughout the country indicated that those in the South and in rural areas consistently reported the lowest average percentage of weekly telehealth visits compared with other regions between June 26 and Nov. 6, 2020.
According to HHS, the new funding will be distributed to three dozen recipients through the following organizations:
- the Telehealth Technology-Enabled Learning Program, which will allocate about $4.28 million to help academic medical centers provide training and support to primary care providers in rural and other underserved areas;
- the Telehealth Resource Centers, which will distribute $4.55 million to twelve regional and two national locations that provide telehealth-related information, assistance and education to entities or persons who offer or want to offer telehealth;
- the Evidence-Based Direct to Consumer Telehealth Network Program, which will distribute about $3.85 million to 11 groups to help health networks increase access to telehealth services and to gauge the effectiveness of telehealth care for patients, providers and payers; and
- the Telehealth Centers of Excellence, which will distribute $6.5 million to two organizations to evaluate telehealth strategies and services to enhance health care in rural medically underserved areas with high chronic disease prevalence and high poverty rates.
“This funding will help drive the innovation necessary to build clinical networks, educational opportunities and trusted resources to further advance telehealth,” Diana Espinosa, the acting administrator of the Health Resources and Services Administration, said in the release.
HHS. Biden-Harris Administration Invests over $19 Million to Expand Telehealth Nationwide and Improve Health in Rural, Other Underserved Communities. https://www.hhs.gov/about/news/2021/08/18/biden-harris-administration-invests-over-19-million-expand-telehealth-nationwide-improve-health-rural.html. Accessed Aug. 18, 2021.