BPHC Bulletin: Opt In for NHSC Substance Use Disorder Treatment Funding

BPHC External bulletin masthead

Later this year, the National Health Service Corps (NHSC) will make available an additional $105 million in NHSC Loan Repayment Program awards that expand and improve access to quality opioid and substance use disorder (SUD) treatment in rural and underserved areas. In addition to NHSC sites, this funding will be available to new categories of outpatient services.

All NHSC sites—including health centers and NHSC auto-approved sites—must opt in for their providers to be eligible for this additional SUD treatment funding. You are eligible to opt in if your site provides any of these services:

  • Opioid treatment program (OTP)—Facilities certified by SAMHSA
  • Office-based opioid treatment (OBOT)—Outpatient facilities with providers eligible to administer medication-assisted treatment (MAT)
  • Non-opioid outpatient SUD treatment facilities—Outpatient facilities that offer SUD treatment services (but do not provide MAT) as demonstrated on their website or other organizational materials

Once you opt in, providers at your approved site will be eligible for up to $75,000 in loan repayment in exchange for three years of service. Members of the SUD integrated treatment team who qualify for NHSC SUD treatment expansion include:

  • Physicians
  • Nurse practitioners
  • Physician assistants who are eligible to administer MAT
  • SUD counselors
  • Behavioral health professionals

To maximize flexibility and resources available to SUD expansion efforts, NHSC will allow applicants serving at NHSC-approved SUD sites to apply under either the mental health or primary care Health Professional Shortage Area (HPSA) score, whichever is higher. This option is not available for the traditional NHSC Loan Repayment Program.

You must opt in to take advantage of this opportunity. Submit an inquiry through your Customer Service Portal account by following these steps. If you have multiple sites, repeat these steps for each site you want to opt in.

1. Select a site from your site list.

2. Scroll down to the “Ask a Question” box and select “Ask a Question about the NHSC.”

3. Submit your inquiry with the following parameters:

  • Category: Substance Use Disorder (SUD) Documentation
  • Description: Opt-in SUD Expansion

4. List all SUD services that are provided at the site:

  • Opioid Treatment Program (OTP)
  • Medication Assisted Treatment (MAT)
  • General Substance Use Disorder Treatment

HRSA extended the deadline for providing this information. The new deadline is Tuesday, August 14, at 11:59 p.m. ET. If you have additional questions, contact your state lead in HRSA’s Bureau of Health Workforce.