Topeka, Kansas – Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Kansas (BCBSKS), has launched a new telehealth grant opportunity for medical providers across the state in response to the surge of new telehealth visits over the past year.
Through Blue Health Initiatives (BHI), a program that works with Kansas communities to establish and sustain healthy environments and lifestyles, doctors and other medical providers can apply to receive grant funds to purchase equipment and secure telehealth platforms to better serve all Kansans. A total of $360,000 will be given though this grant program.
Since the COVID-19 pandemic began just over a year ago, telehealth visits have quickly increased in usage. They are a practical way for patients to have their health concerns addressed without leaving the comfort of their own home or office. Residents in some rural areas have fewer providers to choose from and often lack access to specialty providers.
“This new grant is just one more way that Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Kansas is showing our commitment to improving the healthcare system. COVID-19 has brought to light the importance of and need for telehealth but expanding access to this service will serve Kansans far beyond the end of this pandemic,” Virginia Barnes, director, Blue Health Initiatives, said. “With fewer providers in the rural areas of our state, giving Kansans more access to service, including mental health services, means saving them time and money traveling to larger cities for appointments that could take place just as easily, and more conveniently, from the comfort of their own home.”
Priority will be given to both primary care and behavioral health care providers. The anticipated average award will be between $2,000-$5,000. In addition to the grant money awarded, grantees will be provided training and resources through the University of Kansas Center for Telemedicine and Telehealth, which has 30 years of experience implementing clinical telehealth services in Kansas. The grant cycle is open now through June 30, or until funds are depleted. Applications will be reviewed on a rolling basis beginning April 1.
More than $22 million in funding for initiatives that create a healthier Kansas have been awarded since BHI’s inception in 2016.
Providers can now apply for a telehealth grant through our online grantee portal.
About Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Kansas:
For more than 75 years, Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Kansas has built a reputation of trust with its members and contracting providers by providing outstanding customer service while quickly and accurately processing claims; fairly administering benefit plans and contracts; offering programs, services and tools to help members improve or maintain their health; and operating under the highest ethical standards while being good stewards of premium dollars. Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Kansas is an independent licensee of the Blue Cross Blue Shield Association and is the state’s largest insurer, serving all Kansas counties except Johnson and Wyandotte. For more information, visit bcbsks.com