Facilities receive grants to grow resources for telehealth

More than 100 communities in 42 states will receive grants from the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) to support care in rural areas, including funding to grow resources for telehealth solutions and help communities build networks of care.

In an announcement about the $22 million in grants, HRSA administrator Mary K. Wakefield said the funds "represent our commitment at the federal level to support partners on the ground, who are working to strengthen healthcare delivery in every area of the country."

More than $2.3 million of the grant money will go to the Evidence-Based Tele-Emergency Network Program and $600,000 will go to the Telehealth Resource Centers. The money will be used to expand capabilities in remote emergency departments and determine the effectiveness of tele-emergency care for rural patients and providers, according to the announcement.

The facilities receiving funding for the Evidence-Based Tele-Emergency Network Program include: University of California, Davis in Davis, California; Union Hospital Inc. in Terre Haute, Indiana; University of Kentucky in Lexington, Kentucky; St. Vincent Healthcare Foundation Inc. in Billings, Montana; Avera Health in Sioux Falls, South Dakota; and Rector & Visitors of The University of Virginia in Charlottesville, Virginia.

Facilities receiving funding for the Telehealth Resource Centers include Medical Care Development in Augusta, Maine, and the Rector and Visitors of The University of Virginia.

One of the main uses of telemedicine at healthcare facilities is to increase access to care in underserved areas of the U.S.

However, adoption of telemedicine is still slow. About 60 percent of doctors said they were not considering using telehealth technologies, according to a July Physicians Practice 2014 Technology Survey.

In addition, coverage and reimbursement of telemedicine services also impede the use of the technology.

To learn more:
- read the announcement
- check out the grant list