HHS Releases the Second Installment of Opioid State Targeted Response Grants

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As of April 18, 2018, the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) has released the second round of funding for opioid relief. Fifty states and four territories will receive funding that totals $485 million to expand treatment resources and recovery programs. The grant supports evidence-based solutions at the state level including health IT strategies. The first year of funds were used to implement effective treatment initiatives including the use of medications like Naloxone as well as technical approaches like Prescription Drug Monitoring Programs (PDMPs) 

The Opioid State Targeted Response (STR) grants, originally created by the 21st Century Cures Act, are coming from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) within HHS. Originally projected to be announced in September 2018, SAMHSA will be releasing information on an additional $1 billion in grant funding for those states and territories experiencing the greatest burden from the epidemic. The STR grants originated from former HHS Secretary Dr. Tom Price’s five-pronged strategy to combat the growing prescription drug crisis in the United States. 

HIMSS’s chapters across the U.S. have prioritized opioid crisis relief and taken initiative to explore health IT approaches. Chapters have highlighted this crisis at State Advocacy Days to convene state representatives, clinicians and health IT professionals on leveraging health information and technology in response to the opioid epidemic.