42 U.S. Code § 254c–16 - Mental health services delivered via telehealth

(a) Definitions
In this section:
(1) Eligible entity
The term “eligible entity” means a public or nonprofit private telehealth provider network that offers services that include mental health services provided by qualified mental health providers.
(2) Qualified mental health professionals
The term “qualified mental health professionals” refers to providers of mental health services reimbursed under the medicare program carried out under title XVIII of the Social Security Act (42 U.S.C. 1395 et seq.) who have additional training in the treatment of mental illness in children and adolescents or who have additional training in the treatment of mental illness in the elderly.
(3) Special populations
The term “special populations” refers to the following 2 distinct groups:
(A) Children and adolescents in mental health underserved rural areas or in mental health underserved urban areas.
(B) Elderly individuals located in long-term care facilities in mental health underserved rural or urban areas.
(4) Telehealth
The term “telehealth” means the use of electronic information and telecommunications technologies to support long distance clinical health care, patient and professional health-related education, public health, and health administration.
(b) Program authorized
(1) In general
The Secretary, acting through the Director of the Office for the Advancement of Telehealth of the Health Resources and Services Administration, shall award grants to eligible entities to establish demonstration projects for the provision of mental health services to special populations as delivered remotely by qualified mental health professionals using telehealth and for the provision of education regarding mental illness as delivered remotely by qualified mental health professionals using telehealth.
(2) Populations served
The Secretary shall award the grants under paragraph (1) in a manner that distributes the grants so as to serve equitably the populations described in subparagraphs (A) and (B) of subsection (a)(3) of this section.
(c) Use of funds
(1) In general
An eligible entity that receives a grant under this section shall use the grant funds—
(A) for the populations described in subsection (a)(3)(A) of this section—
(i) to provide mental health services, including diagnosis and treatment of mental illness, as delivered remotely by qualified mental health professionals using telehealth; and
(ii) to collaborate with local public health entities to provide the mental health services; and
(B) for the populations described in subsection (a)(3)(B) of this section—
(i) to provide mental health services, including diagnosis and treatment of mental illness, in long-term care facilities as delivered remotely by qualified mental health professionals using telehealth; and
(ii) to collaborate with local public health entities to provide the mental health services.
(2) Other uses
An eligible entity that receives a grant under this section may also use the grant funds to—
(A) pay telecommunications costs; and
(B) pay qualified mental health professionals on a reasonable cost basis as determined by the Secretary for services rendered.
(3) Prohibited uses
An eligible entity that receives a grant under this section shall not use the grant funds to—
(A) purchase or install transmission equipment (other than such equipment used by qualified mental health professionals to deliver mental health services using telehealth under the project involved); or
(B) build upon or acquire real property.
(d) Equitable distribution
In awarding grants under this section, the Secretary shall ensure, to the greatest extent possible, that such grants are equitably distributed among geographical regions of the United States.
(e) Application
An entity that desires a grant under this section shall submit an application to the Secretary at such time, in such manner, and containing such information as the Secretary determines to be reasonable.
(f) Report
Not later than 4 years after October 26, 2002, the Secretary shall prepare and submit to the appropriate committees of Congress a report that shall evaluate activities funded with grants under this section.
(g) Authorization of appropriations
There are authorized to be appropriated to carry out this section, $20,000,000 for fiscal year 2002 and such sums as may be necessary for fiscal years 2003 through 2006.

Source

(July 1, 1944, ch. 373, title III, § 330K, as added Pub. L. 107–251, title II, § 221,Oct. 26, 2002, 116 Stat. 1640; amended Pub. L. 108–163, § 2(d),Dec. 6, 2003, 117 Stat. 2021.)
References in Text

The Social Security Act, referred to in subsec. (a)(2), is act Aug. 14, 1935, ch. 531, 49 Stat. 620, as amended. Title XVIII of the Act is classified generally to subchapter XVIII (§ 1395 et seq.) of chapter 7 of this title. For complete classification of this Act to the Code, see section 1305 of this title and Tables.
Amendments

2003—Subsec. (b)(2). Pub. L. 108–163, § 2(d)(1), substituted “subsection (a)(3)” for “subsection (a)(4)”.
Subsec. (c)(1)(A). Pub. L. 108–163, § 2(d)(2)(A), substituted “subsection (a)(3)(A)” for “subsection (a)(4)(A)”.
Subsec. (c)(1)(B). Pub. L. 108–163, § 2(d)(2)(B), substituted “subsection (a)(3)(B)” for “subsection (a)(4)(B)”.
Effective Date of 2003 Amendment

Amendments by Pub. L. 108–163deemed to have taken effect immediately after the enactment of Pub. L. 107–251, see section 3 ofPub. L. 108–163, set out as a note under section 233 of this title.

 

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