The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, through the Health Resources and Services Administration, has awarded $20 million to increase telehealth access and infrastructure for providers and families to help prevent and respond to COVID-19.
The funds will assist telehealth providers with cross-state licensure to improve access to healthcare during the pandemic.
WHY THIS MATTERS
The use of telehealth has risen during the COVID-19 pandemic as patients and providers practice social distancing and the Trump Administration has allowed greater flexibility for its use.
The funds will increase capability and access to telehealth and distant-care services for providers, pregnant women, children, adolescents and families.
HRSA's Maternal and Child Health Bureau awarded a total of $15 million to four recipients. They are: The American Academy of Pediatrics – Pediatric Care in Illinois, which received $6 million; the Association of Maternal and Child Health Programs – Public Health Systems in Washington, D.C., which received $4 million; Family Voices, Inc. - Family Engagement for Children with Special Health Care Needs in New Mexico, which received $1 million; and University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill – Maternal Health Care, North Carolina, which received $4 million.
HRSA's Federal Office of Rural Health Policy awarded a total of $5 million to two recipients to work with professional and state licensing boards and national compacts to develop a streamlined process for telehealth clinicians to obtain multi-state licensure.
The Association of State and Provincial Psychology Boards in Georgia and the Federation of State Medical Boards of the United States in Texas each received $2.5 million.
ON THE RECORD
"Our efforts today reduce burden on clinicians and improve the speed at which clinical sites will be able to provide additional telehealth services," said HRSA Administrator Tom Engels. "The dedicated work of these program recipients will help keep our nation's families healthy and strong."
"This new funding will help expand telehealth infrastructure that is already being used during the pandemic to provide essential care, especially to the most vulnerable, including pregnant women and children with special healthcare needs," said HHS Secretary Alex Azar.
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