Substance Abuse Treatment Telehealth Network Grant Program

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Tuesday, August 8, at 2:00 pm ET
Call-in Number: 888-324-8132
Participant code: 2444307

HRSA-17-122 | Office of Rural Health Policy

Application Accepted: 07/24/2017 to 08/23/2017

Projected Award Date: 09/30/2017

Estimated Award Amount: N/A

Program Description:

This notice solicits applications for the Substance Abuse Treatment Telehealth Network Grant Program (SAT-TNGP).  The purpose of this program is to demonstrate how telehealth programs and networks can improve access to health care services, particularly substance abuse treatment services, in rural, frontier, and underserved communities. The range and use of telehealth services have expanded over the past decades, along with the role of technology in improving and coordinating care.  Telehealth has proven capabilities to reduce travel time, increase access to specialty care, and improve patient safety, quality of care, and provider support.  Traditional models of telehealth involve care delivered to the patient at a series of originating (or spoke) sites from a specialist working at a distant (or hub) site. Telehealth is a promising tool for providing substance abuse treatment services and support to rural populations.  Communities that lack sufficient substance abuse treatment and other behavioral health professionals can utilize telehealth technologies to increase access to care.  The use of telehealth allows existing providers to cover a wider geographic region.  In turn, patients are able to access care locally rather than traveling long distances to receive care, or worse, forgoing care because of the inconvenience or lack of adequate transportation resources. Addressing issues of substance abuse, particularly the ongoing opioid epidemic, is a priority for the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS).  Recent data[1] from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) found that the use of illicit drugs among those 12 and older has increased in the last decade, up to 10.2 percent of the population in 2014.  Only about 14 percent of adults with illicit drug dependence reported receiving substance abuse treatment in the past year. The primary purpose of the SAT-TNGP is to support tele-substance abuse treatment and other behavioral health care services with a secondary focus on providing services to address common chronic disease conditions (e.g., congestive heart failure, cancer, stroke, chronic respiratory disease and/or diabetes).  Including a secondary focus will allow successful award recipients to use telehealth technologies to address a broader range of comorbid health care needs and ensure that they are optimizing the telehealth investment in addition to meeting the primary goal of providing substance abuse treatment and other behavioral health services.  Further, research indicates that people with addiction often have unaddressed or inadequately addressed chronic medical conditions. HRSA is particularly interested in applications that will make broad use of the technology to expand services locally with the primary focus on substance abuse treatment but also the secondary areas in recognition that the capacity to provide telehealth services in each site can be used to meet other local service needs.  Increased volume of telehealth services can also drive down per-unit costs and expand the number of insurer-covered services to help make the network sustainable beyond the federal funding period. Successful applicants will also be required to submit performance data (including clinical data) on a range of metrics that we will identify after the awards are made.  These data are integral to meeting the broad program purpose of demonstrating how telehealth programs and networks can improve access to health care services in rural and underserved communities.   Important:  Applicants should have a successful track record in implementing telehealth technology and have a network of partners in place and committed to the project as of the date of application.  Signed Memoranda of Agreements (MOAs) from those network partners committed to the proposed project must be included in the application.  Applicants failing to submit verifiable information with respect to the commitment of network partners, including specific roles, responsibilities, and clinical services to be provided, will not be funded.  TNGP funds are intended to fund network expansion and/or to increase the breadth of services of successful telehealth networks. [1]


Application Guidance

Application guidance template

Contact Information

Carlos Mena

Phone: (301) 443-3198