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Published: July 8, 2020

DHCS Has Two Funding Opportunities for Eligible Organizations to Develop, Enhance, and/or Expand Their Facility’s Telehealth Infrastructure

As a result of the COVID-19 public health emergency, behavioral health providers have requested support to develop, enhance, and/or expand their telehealth infrastructure. Without intervention, the disruption presented by COVID-19 will pose risks to treatment for individuals with substance use disorder and mental health disorders.

Funding opportunity

Department of Health Care Services (DHCS) is utilizing available federal grant funding provided by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) to support behavioral health telehealth infrastructure improvement activities due to the impact of COVID-19. These funds are derived from the Substance Abuse Prevention and Treatment Block Grant (SABG) and the Community Mental Health Services Block Grant (MHBG); therefore, all SABG and MHBG restrictions apply.

The Center at Sierra Health Foundation will assist DHCS with the administration of the funds, which will support organizations to develop, enhance, and/or expand their facility’s telehealth infrastructure. The purpose of this project is to address the needs of individuals with substance use disorder and/or mental health disorders, including youth and adults with serious emotional disturbances.

There are two individual funding opportunities:1) Substance Use DisorderTelehealth Activities and 2) Mental HealthTelehealth Activities. If more applications are received than funding is available, DHCS will look at adding extra scoring points for providers in counties with the highest mortality rates related to substance use disorder and mental health disorders and for providers who serve patients in predominantly rural areas.

Eligible Organizations

Eligible organizations are those that provide direct treatment and recovery support services and must be a nonprofit substance use disorder and/or mental health provider licensed and/or certified by DHCS as of July 1, 2020 (for substance use disorder or mental health telehealth activities, depending on funding opportunity applied for.)

This includes the following licenses and/or certifications:

  • Substance Use Disorder
  • Narcotic Treatment Program(NTP)License
  • Driving Under the Influence (DUI) License
  • Adult Residential Treatment Facilities
  • Alcohol and Drug Certification
  • Intensive Outpatient Certification
  • Partial Hospitalization Certification
  • Adolescent Residential Treatment Facility Certification
  • Drug Medi-Cal Certification
  • Mental Health
  • Psychiatric Health Facilities (PHFs)
  • Mental Health Rehabilitation Centers (MHRCs)
  • Crisis Stabilization Units (CSUs)
  • Outpatient Clinics
  • Short Term Residential Therapeutic Program (STRTP)
  • Children’s Crisis Residential Program (CCRP)
  • Social Rehabilitation Program (SRP)
  • Community Treatment Facility (CTF)
  • Skilled Nursing Facilities with Special Treatment (SNF/STP)

Entities must have a current contract with the County Behavioral Health Department and currently serve ‘safety net’ clients. Funding can only be used for provider telehealth development, enhancement, and/or expansion.

Funding Amounts and Contract Period

For both funding opportunities, contracts will cover activities beginning September 1, 2020, through June 30, 2021. Funded activities must begin no later than September 30, 2020. Sites may request up to $50,000 under each funding opportunity. Sites are limited to submitting one application per funding opportunity (i.e. one application for Substance Use DisorderTelehealth Activities and one application for Mental HealthTelehealth Activities).

Allowable Activities and Expenses

Telehealth InfrastructureFunding may only be allocated to support telehealth infrastructure enhancement and/or expansion for providers, which may include the following:

  • Laptops
  • Desktops
  • Monitors Software licenses(including EHR)
  • Internet subscription
  • Webcams
  • Cellular telephones

Provider-focused telehealth training grant funds may not be used to purchase telehealth equipment or Internet subscriptions for clients.

Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)

Applicants may allocate up to 10percent of their total budget to the procurement of PPE supplies, which may include the following items:

  • Gloves
  • Masks
  • Respirators
  • Shoe covers
  • Glasses
  • Gowns
  • Head covers

Grant funds may not be used to purchase PPE for clients.

Application Process

The online application is available on The Center’s grant portal.Completed applicationsareDUEby August3,2020at 1p.m.PT. Applicants will be notified of funding selection by September 15, 2020. Activities must begin no later than September 30, 2020 and must be completed on or before June 30, 2021.

Click to Apply for Grant


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