6 new telehealth centers in the works

January 4, 2013 in Medical Technology

Federal authorities have earmarked $1.9 million in new funding for the nation’s network of telehealth resource centers, paving the way for an additional five regional centers and one national center.

Once completed, those centers would join a network of 12 regional centers and two national centers, the latter of which focus on technology assessment and telehealth policy.

[See also: Telehealth poised to take center stage.]

The Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) is administering the grants, in amounts of up to $300,000 for the national center and $325,000 for each regional center, through the Telehealth Resource Center Grant Program (TRCGP) to healthcare organizations, networks and/or providers establishing telehealth programs to serve rural and medically underserved areas and populations. Administration officials say funding is available through FY2015 to support one new national center and five new regional centers.

[See also: Alaska group lands $1.2M telehealth grant.]

According to the announcement, successful applicants “will provide technical assistance, training and support for healthcare providers and a range of healthcare entities that provide or will provide telehealth services; disseminate information and research findings related to telehealth services; promote effective collaboration among telehealth resource centers and OAT; conduct evaluations to determine the best (use) of telehealth technologies to meet healthcare needs; and promote the integration of the technologies used in clinical information systems with other telehealth technologies; among many other activities.”

[See also: QA: Roy Schoenberg on telehealth.]

The deadline to apply for the grants, which are renewable for as many as three years, is Feb. 25, 2013.

The existing network consists of the following:

  • California Telehealth Resource Center, based in Sacramento and previously called the California Telemedicine and eHealth Center, which covers all of California;
  • Great Plains Telehealth Resource Assistance Center, based in Minneapolis, Minn., which covers North and South Dakota, Minnesota, Iowa, Wisconsin and Nebraska;
  • Heartland Telehealth Resource Center, based in Kansas City, Kan., and serving Kansas, Missouri and Oklahoma;
  • Mid-Atlantic Telehealth Resource Center, based at the UVA Center for Telehealth in Charlottesville, Va., and serving Virginia, West Virginia, Kentucky, Maryland, Delaware, North Carolina, Pennsylvania and Washington D.C.;
  • NorthEast Telehealth Resource Center, based in Augusta, Me., and serving Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont, Massachusetts, Connecticut, Rhode Island and parts of New York;
  • Northwest Regional Telehealth Resource Center, based in Billings, Mont., and serving Montana, Utah, Idaho, Wyoming, Oregon, Washington and Alaska;The Pacific Basin Telehealth Resource Center, based in Honolulu, Hawaii and covering Hawaii and the Pacific Basin territories;
  • South Central Telehealth Resource Center, based at the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences in Little Rock and serving Arkansas, Mississippi and Tennessee;
  • Southeast Telehealth Resource Center, based in Waycross, Ga., and serving Alabama, Georgia, South Carolina and Florida;
  • Southwest Telehealth Resource Center, based at the University of Arizona Health Sciences Center in Tucson and serving Arizona, Colorado, New Mexico and Nevada;
  • TexLa Telehealth Resource Center, launched in 2012 in Lubbock, Texas and serving Texas and Louisiana;
  • The Upper Midwest Telehealth Resource Center, based at the Indiana Rural Health Association in Terra Haute and serving Indiana, Illinois, Michigan and Ohio;
  • Center for Connected Health Policy, a national telehealth policy resource center based in Sacramento, Calif.; and
  • Telehealth Technology.org, a national telehealth technology assessment resource center based in Anchorage, Alaska.
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