USDA Awards $8.6M To Boost Rural Telehealth Projects

November 24, 2014 in News

On Thursday, the U.S. Department of Agriculture Rural Development awarded 31 grants totaling $8.6 million to rural telemedicine efforts in several states, Health Data Management reports (Goth, Health Data Management, 11/24).

Background

In 2011, USDA and HHS signed a Memorandum of Understanding to work together to help connect rural doctors and clinics with USDA Rural Development grants and loans. As of October 2014, the initiative included physicians and care centers that treat rural and low-income communities in 13 states (“Health IT Buzz,” 11/21).

Grant Details

The latest grant recipients included:

  • The University of Iowa, which received a $498,000 grant to offer pediatric, adult and geriatric care to patients in 64 remote locations;
  • Monongalia County General Hospital in Morganton, W.Va., which received a $496,000 grant to connect the hospital’s specialists with providers and patients throughout the state; and
  • Good Samaritan Hospital in Los Angeles, which received a $417,000 grant to connect providers with patients and providers in six remote areas in Guam (Health Data Management, 11/24).

In a release, USDA Secretary Tom Vilsack said that the investments mean “people who live and work in rural areas will not have to travel long distances for specialized health care services” (“Health IT Buzz,” 11/21).

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