The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services has announced new investments worth $250 million to increase the number of health care providers and strengthen the primary care workforce.
Made possible by the Affordable Care Act, the money will be used to boost the supply of primary care providers in this country by:
- Creating additional primary care residency slots: $168 million for training more than 500 new primary care physicians by 2015;
- Supporting physician assistant training in primary care: $32 million for the development of more than 600 new physician assistants, who practice medicine as members of a team with their supervising physician, and can be trained in a shorter period of time compared to physicians;
- Encouraging students to pursue full-time nursing careers: $30 million to help over 600 nursing students to attend school full-time so that they have better odds of completing their education;
- Establishing new nurse practitioner-led clinics: $15 million for the operation of 10 nurse-managed health clinics which assist in the training of nurse practitioners. These clinics are staffed by nurse practitioners, which provide comprehensive primary health care services to populations living in medically underserved communities.
- Encouraging states to plan for and address health professional workforce needs: $5 million for states to plan and implement innovative strategies to expand their primary care workforce by 10 to 25 percent over ten years to meet increased demand for primary care services.
Read the full press release.