On May 13, the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) announced the availability of $12 million in available grant funding for community planning activities under the Rural Communities Opioid Response Program (R-CORP). The grant will support the expansion of prevention, treatment and recovery services for opioid and other substance use disorders.
To be eligible, the applicant must serve rural communities at the highest risk for substance use disorder. Rural counties and counties serving rural census tracts within the county are eligible to apply. Program applications are due by July 13 and HRSA is expected to disburse funding by September 1. Grant funding may be used to support the following activities, many of which fulfill county priorities in addressing substance use disorders in our communities:
- Distributing naloxone to individuals and organizations
- Providing community-based naloxone training
- Recruiting and training providers and support staff in medication assisted treatment (NOTE: These grant funds cannot be used to pay providers/support staff to deliver medication assisted treatment);
- Creating a strategy to reach and engage individuals at high risk of substance use disorders (SUD) or opioid use disorders (OUD)
- Working with law enforcement to develop a diversion program
- Training providers, administrative staff and other relevant stakeholders to optimize reimbursement for treatment encounters through proper coding and billing.
Rates of substance misuse and overdose deaths has been a longstanding and prevalent issue in rural communities, who face challenges in combatting this issue due to the lack of prevention, treatment, and recovery resources. The opioid epidemic has further heightened the need for additional federal resources and reforms to help counties prevent, treat and provide recovery services for individual with substance use disorders. The R-CORP grant is intended to equip recipients with the tools to implement long-term, sustainable substance use disorder and opioid use disorder services in rural communities.
For additional NACo resources on rural counties and the opioid epidemic, please see the following links:
- Opioids in the Appalachia: The Role of Counties in Reversing a Regional Epidemic (NACo report)
- HHS to allocate COVID-19 funds to hospitals in hard-hit areas (NACo blog)