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US Telehealth Services Gets $20M Boost for Rural, Underserved Communities

The federal Department of Health and Human Services is distributing nearly $20 million to three dozen organizations, nationwide, that are working to spread telehealth in rural areas.

“Telehealth expands access to care and is a vital tool for improving health equity by providing timely clinical assessment and treatment for our most vulnerable populations,” Health Resources Services Administration Acting Administrator Diana Espinosa said in a prepared statement. “This funding will help drive the innovation necessary to build clinical networks, educational opportunities, and trusted resources to further advance telehealth.”

The Health Resources Services Administration is a unit of the Department of Health and Human Services.

The more than $19 million includes, according to the Health Resources Services Administration: “approximately $4.28 million … to 9 health organizations to build sustainable tele-mentoring programs and networks in rural and medically underserved communities and $4.55 million for 12 regional and two national Telehealth Resource Centers that will provide information, assistance and education on telehealth to organizations and individuals who are actively providing or want to provide telehealth services to patients.”

The agency stated in its announcement of the funds distribution that about $3.85 million will go to 11 organizations that will make it easier for patients to connect with telehealth providers and assess how well telehealth programs are working and $6.5 million will go to programs that help patients in areas with “high chronic disease prevalence and high poverty rates.”

According to its website, the Health Resources Services Administration runs eight grant programs whose goal is to increase the availability and quality of tele-health.

The recipients of the two largest grants of the three dozen awarded are, according to the HRSA’s website, University of Mississippi Medical Center, $3.25 million, and Medical University of South Carolina, $3.25 million.

Read more: Let The Healing Begin With The Latest PYMNTS Provider Ranking Of Telemedicine Apps

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