**FY24 FORECASTED ANNOUNCEMENT**
This notice announces the opportunity to apply for funding under the Evidence Based Telehealth Network Program (EB THNP). The two-fold purpose of this award is (1) to demonstrate how health networks can increase access to health care services utilizing telehealth technologies and (2) to conduct evaluations of those efforts to establish an evidence base for assessing the effectiveness of telehealth care for patients, providers, and payers.
The implementation of telehealth technology is rapidly expanding into health systems. HRSA defines telehealth as the use of electronic information and telecommunication technologies to support and promote long-distance clinical health care, patient and professional health-related education, public health and health administration. Telehealth modalities that support clinical treatment may include video conferencing, the internet, store-and-forward imaging, streaming media, and terrestrial and wireless communications. Rising evidence supports that many health conditions can be addressed with a virtual in home visit from a doctor to his or her patient. In 2015, the American College of Physicians declared their position and support for Direct-to-Consumer (DTC) considering the patient has an established relationship with the providers, and the care meets in person standards of quality.
For this NOFO, applicants must propose to provide DTC telehealth services to patients within established telehealth networks. This can be accomplished, in part, by identifying and partnering with local established health care facilities (especially primary care facilities) within the target service area, elevating the trusted patient-provider relationship, access, and quality of care directly to the patient via telehealth. Also, this service will allow for the expansion of access to care in Medically Underserved Areas (MUA) and primary care or mental health defined Health Professional Shortage areas (HPSA). The EB THNP program presents the opportunity for network sites that are currently or have previously utilized telehealth as defined above to efficiently and effectively pilot and/or expand DTC telehealth care. Applicants for this EB THNP Program must utilize synchronous (real-time virtual visits) audio-visual technology and may include remote patient monitoring (RPM) to provide DTC telehealth care to patients. This EB THNP program will expand access to health services in three clinical primary focus areas: (1) Primary Care, (2) Acute Care, and (3) Behavioral Health Care. In addition, applicants have the option to address one of the following secondary focus areas: Maternal Care, Substance Use Disorder, or Chronic Care Management.
Approximately $8,700,000 was available in total funding to fund up to 29 awards in 2020.
The applicant's proposed telehealth network may also consist of other entities such as rural emergency departments (ED), emergency medical services (EMS) that serve rural populations and ambulances that serve rural entities.
The applicant organization may be in an urban or rural area. Applicants must include at least two distant sites (hubs) located in rural areas and no more than two urban distant sites (hubs). HRSA encourages applicants in urban areas that choose to focus their program on providing primary care services, to collaborate with rural established providers as distant sites. For the purposes of this award, the originating site is the location of the patient at the time the service being furnished via a telecommunications system occurs. The originating site is required to be solely located in HRSA-defined rural areas in order to receive funds through this award. Urban originating site service areas are NOT eligible to receive funding through this award. Specifically, the applicant's proposed service area must be in a non-metropolitan county or in a rural census tract of a metropolitan county. All services must be provided in a non-metropolitan county or rural census tract. To ascertain rural eligibility, please refer to HRSA's Rural Health Grants Eligibility Analyzer at https://data.hrsa.gov/tools/rural-health?tab=Address. This webpage allows you to search by county or street address and determine your rural eligibility.