New York funds telemedicine addiction services

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The Office of Addiction Services and Supports via the Requests for Proposals process recently awarded 33 providers across New York state with State Opioid Response Grants, which support telemedicine addiction services that provide services for individuals and families who may not otherwise seek treatment.

“With this funding, providers will be able to purchase equipment and deliver comprehensive behavioral health services immediately without compromising their health and the health of those in their care,” Arlene González-Sánchez, New York State Office of Addiction Services and Supports (OASAS) commissioner, said. “Telepractice has never been more crucial to the addiction treatment landscape in New York State.”

Providers were awarded between $4,627 and $19,725. The largest grant was awarded to Cayuga Addiction Recovery Services/Ithaca alpha House in Tompkins.

Providers will use the funding for the purchase of webcams, software, speakers, laptops, desktops, monitors, and keyboards.

OASAS temporarily waived certain regulatory requirements for providing telemedicine during the pandemic. Statewide, more than 600 sites are authorized to deliver telemedicine services through the use of telephone and video technology. The majority also were approved under an emergency telemedicine waiver and attestation process.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s Heroin Task Force recommended nontraditional services in 2016. These include open-access centers providing immediate assessments and referrals to care, expanded peer services, youth clubhouses, and recovery centers.

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