HHS awarded $24 million to rural organizations across 40 states to develop strategies for preventing and treating opioid abuse.
The Health Resources and Services Administration announced on Monday that it will provide $200,000 for one year to 120 rural organizations, part of a larger effort by the Trump administration to fill major gaps in addiction treatment and recovery in rural areas.
"Over half of rural counties nationwide lack a provider who is waivered to prescribe buprenorphine, and on average, rural opioid users are more likely to be uninsured, less educated and lower income than their urban counterparts," said Tom Morris, associate administrator for rural health policy at HRSA, in a statement.
The grants are under HRSA's Rural Communities Opioid Response Program, a multi-year effort to implement evidence-based interventions and practice models on expanding substance use and opioid use disorder.
Award recipients are expected to help providers better bill for treatment services and set up a system to monitor and evaluate the impact and outcomes to opioid use disorder prevention, treatment and recovery activities.
Last month, HHS gave four states more than $350 million with the goal of reducing opioid deaths by 40% over three years.
The four states—Kentucky, Massachusetts, New York and Ohio—will use the money to coordinate efforts across schools, the criminal justice system and other parts of the community to curb the epidemic and create a blueprint other states could use.
HHS Secretary Alex Azar said last month that any money for opioids has a "firewall" around it in the president's budget proposal that would cut the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration by $62 million in federal fiscal 2020.
However, the budget proposal so far has gone nowhere in Congress, as Democrats control the U.S. House of Representatives.