This notice announces the opportunity to apply for funding under the National Telehealth Resource Center (NTRC) Program. The purpose of NTRCs is to support the delivery of telehealth technical assistance through Regional Telehealth Resource Centers (RTRCs). Two NTRCs may be funded.
Policy NTRC: One NTRC will focus on policy issues of telehealth, such as reimbursement and coverage, licensing, credentialing and privileging, regulation, standards, guidelines and privacy. Many policy issues such as licensure and reimbursement may have state specific considerations and the NTRC will work with each RTRC and with other national or policy specific organizations to insure that telehealth policies are accurately tracked or reported.
Technology NTRC: One NTRC will focus on telehealth technology issues related to, for example, equipment or software, interfacing/integration with other systems, interoperability, technology support and upgrading, cyber security, technology alerts or recalls.
Each NTRC will work to support RTRCs (HRSA-21-022) in their efforts to advance telehealth. Awards are expected to be used for the following core services:
1. providing technical assistance, training, and support, and providing for travel expenses, for health care providers and a range of health care entities that provide or will provide telehealth services;
2. disseminating information and research findings related to telehealth services;
3. promoting effective collaboration among telehealth resource centers and the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) Office for the Advancement of Telehealth (OAT), as well as other HRSA award recipients (e.g., Telehealth Centers of Excellence, technical assistance (TA) providers);
4. conducting evaluations to determine the best utilization of telehealth technologies to meet health care needs;
5. promoting the integration of the technologies used in clinical information systems with other telehealth technologies;
6. fostering the use of telehealth technologies to provide health care information and education for consumers in a more effective manner; and
7. implementing special projects or studies under the direction of HRSA.
On January 31, 2020, the Secretary of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services declared a public health emergency in response to COVID-19. Should the public health emergency still be in place at the time of this funding notice, and in response to this public health emergency, you may include COVID-19 related activities in your application. Activities could include increased emphasis on support of telehealth directly to consumers or telehealth for public health emergency response. Applicants that focus on such emergency use of telehealth should also outline plans to shift priorities for changing needs and uses of telehealth.
Applicants are encouraged to include populations that have historically suffered from poorer health outcomes, health disparities, and other inequities, as compared to the rest of the rural population, when addressing telehealth technology and policy. Examples of these populations include, but are not limited to, racial and ethnic minorities, people/persons experiencing homelessness, pregnant women, disabled individuals, youth and adolescents, etc.
A NTRC may consider a reasonable fee for continuing assistance in excess of 10 hours of technical assistance provided. The 10-hour limit is to ensure equitable access to technical assistance due to the public nature of the NTRCs. Any fees received by NTRCs must be used to supplement the HRSA award activities, must be listed, and the hours and level of effort related to those fees must be explained in progress and financial reports to HRSA. Further information will be provided in the award notice.
Eligible applicants include domestic public, non-profit, and for-profit entities. Domestic faith-based and community-based organizations, tribes, and tribal organizations are also eligible to apply.