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Sarbanes Announces HHS Grants to Expand and Increase Primary Care Workforce
Washington, DC – Today, Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Kathleen Sebelius announced $320 million in grants under the new health care reform law to strengthen and expand the health care workforce. Of those grants, $253 million will go to improve and expand the primary care workforce, including $3.9 million for the State of Maryland. Additionally, $67 million will go to help prepare low-income people with the education and training necessary to enter and advance in careers in the health care sector.
States will receive this funding to support comprehensive workforce planning and implementation strategies that best address current and projected workforce shortages. Programs receiving funding include: Primary Care Residency Expansion, Expansion of Physician Assistant Training and Advanced Nursing Education Expansion.
“Addressing health workforce shortages has always been one of my top priorities, particularly shortages in primary care,” said Congressman John Sarbanes. “These grants will make it easier for qualified individuals to enter into primary care and provide greater access, increased affordability and improved quality of health care for patients.”
Congressman Sarbanes worked to include several provisions in the health care reform law that provide additional scholarships and loan repayment programs for primary care providers in health shortage areas, strengthen grant programs for primary care training, provide a 10 percent bonus under Medicare for primary care services, and redistribute unused residency slots to medical programs that train more primary care physicians and general surgeons.
“The health care law is making a tremendous difference in addressing health workforce shortages but our work is far from complete,” said Congressman Sarbanes. “We must continue to find innovative solutions to bring more physicians into primary care while reducing barriers that prevent them from doing so.”
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