Alaska group lands $1.2M telehealth grant

By Bernie Monegain
09:04 AM

An Alaska-based consortium is charged with spreading telehealth help across the nation with a $1.2 million grant from the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA), part of HHS.

The Alaska Native Tribal Health Consortium’s Telehealth Technology Assessment Center (TTAC) will serve as the country’s National Telehealth Technology Assessment Resource Center after responding to HRSA’s call for proposals from organizations capable of offering technology appraisals and education to burgeoning telehealth programs nationwide. The center won the funding through a competitive bid process.

The Alaska Native Tribal Health Consortium is a not-for-profit tribal health organization managed by Alaska Native tribal governments and their regional health organizations.
"Being selected by the review committee to continue our work in providing telehealth technology evaluation and assistance is a wonderful evolution of our efforts here at TTAC,” says Kirt Beck, TTAC director. “This will also empower telehealth programs across the country to select appropriate high quality technologies that allow them to maximize efficiency while retaining quality of care in health care delivery.”
For the past three years, TTAC has provided telehealth technology evaluation and webinars to global audiences, while supporting the nation’s now 15 Telehealth Resource Centers. The grant provides the funding and recognition for TTAC to continue its nationwide work for the next four years.
TTAC’s goal is to create better-informed consumers of telehealth technology, Beck says. The assessment knowledge gained is then shared via presentations, publications and on the Web. TTAC serves as an impartial, unbiased source of product information for telehealth programs, healthcare workers and consumers, and does not endorse particular makes, models or manufacturers. 

While detailed evaluation results are a byproduct of TTAC’s educational toolkits, the end goal is to teach others how to walk through the evaluation process based on their own program’s needs and limitations, Beck adds.