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Using Telehealth to Identify and Manage Health and Substance Use Disorder Conditions in Rural Areas

Last Reviewed:
Resource Type:
Research/Evidence Reviews
U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Assistant Secretary for Planning and Evaluation Office of Disability, Aging and Long-Term Care Policy
Publication Year:

Access to services, particularly behavioral health and substance use disorder (SUD) treatment services, is challenging in rural and other underserved areas. Some of the reasons for these challenges include lack of specialty providers and local primary care providers without experience in behavioral health treatment as well as concerns over stigma and lack of privacy for individuals from smaller communities. RTI International conducted an environmental scan and site visits with participants in the field. The environmental scan consisted of a targeted literature review and discussions with key leaders. The scan informed site visits with participants with a range of telehealth experiences across the country. The team identified a diverse set of participants, including clinical staff, administrators, telehealth coordinators, and information technology staff.

Rural Residents
Young Adults
Community Mental Health Centers
Health Centers
Health Department
Primary Care Settings
Substance use disorder (SUD) treatment programs
Alcohol use disorder
Behavioral health workforce recruitment and retention
Billing/Reimbursement Strategies
Medication Assisted Treatment (MAT)
Opioid use disorder (OUD)
Patient-Centered Care
Substance use disorder (SUD)
Tele-Behavioral Health
Tele-SUD Treatment
Workforce Development/Provider Training and Capacity Building