B - Readily funds technology as part of an award
Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA)
The purpose of this program is to integrate behavioral health services into primary care settings using telehealth technology through telehealth networks and evaluate the effectiveness of such integration. The goal for the BHI/EB-TNP Program is to support evidence-based projects that utilize telehealth technologies through telehealth networks in rural and underserved areas1 (i.e., rural areas that are also frontier communities, medically underserved areas, or have medically underserved populations), to: (1) improve access to integrated behavioral health services in primary care settings; and (2) expand and improve the quality of health information available to health care providers by evaluating the effectiveness of integrating tele-behavioral health services into primary care settings and establishing an evidence-based model that can assist health care providers.
Applicants are encouraged to propose novel ways to achieve equity in access to affordable, high-quality, culturally and linguistically appropriate telebehavioral care for rural and underserved patients across the U.S. Through this opportunity, HRSA aims to support innovative integration strategies of telebehavioral health into primary care settings that serve rural and underserved communities with high needs for such services. As a result, applicants must propose to provide telebehavioral health services to patients in rural and underserved areas. Applicants are strongly encouraged to propose established telehealth networks to provide telebehavioral health services which are integrated into the primary care for populations with disparate challenges to quickly and efficiently provide telebehavioral health services to them. Program results will include generating data to inform research activities; expanding telebehavioral health services to rural and underserved communities and primary care settings; increasing the capacity of existing telehealth networks, and developing innovative strategies, methods, or tools, to integrate telebehavioral health services into primary care settings.
History of Funding
Approximately $8,700,000 was available in total funding to fund up to 29 awards in 2020.
The following cost are unallowable:
1. To acquire real property;
2. For expenditures to purchase or lease equipment, to the extent that the expenditures would exceed 20 percent of the total award funds;
3. In the case of a project involving a telehealth network, to purchase or install transmission equipment (such as laying cable or telephone lines, or purchasing or installing microwave towers, satellite dishes, amplifiers, or digital switching equipment);
4. To pay for any equipment or transmission costs not directly related to the purposes for the award;
5. To purchase or install general purpose voice telephone systems;
6. For construction;
7. For expenditures for indirect costs, to the extent that the expenditures would exceed 15 percent of the total award funds; or
8. For any originating sites not located in rural and undeserved areas.
The telehealth network must be composed of at least one (1) Distant site, and at least two of the following entities as Originating sites (at least one of the two required originating sites must be a community-based health care provider, and both required originating sites must be located in rural and underserved areas):
a. Community or migrant health centers or other Federally Qualified Health Centers.
b. Health care providers, including pharmacists, in private practice.
c. Entities operating clinics, including Rural Health Clinics.
d. Local health departments.
e. Nonprofit hospitals, including Critical Access Hospitals.
f. Other publicly funded health or social service agencies.
g. Long-term care providers.
h. Providers of health care services in the home.
i. Providers of outpatient mental health services and substance use disorder services and entities operating outpatient mental health and substance use disorder facilities.
j. Local or regional emergency health care providers.
k. Institutions of higher education.
l. Entities operating dental clinics.
m. Providers of prenatal, labor care, birthing, and postpartum care services, including hospitals that operate obstetric care units.
The applicant organization must participate in the network, and all participants must be separately owned domestic entities. For purposes of this award, HRSA recognizes a growing trend towards greater consolidation within the rural health care industry and the possibility that multiple organizations with the same EIN and/or DUNS number could be located in different rural and underserved areas that have a need for telehealth services.
Telehealth services have an originating site and a distant site. The originating site is the location where a patient gets physician or practitioner medical services through telehealth. A distant site is the location where a physician or practitioner provides telehealth. HRSA acknowledges the temporary Medicare11 and Medicaid12 policy changes in place for an originating site and a distant site. You can use funds under this notice for an originating site only if the originating site is located in a rural and underserved area (i.e., a rural area that is also a frontier community, medically underserved area, or has a medically underserved population). Originating sites in rural areas that are not also either frontier communities, medically underserved areas, or have medically underserved populations, may not be funded through this award. Originating sites in urban areas may not be funded through this award. You can use funds under this notice for any distant site, regardless of location.