The Biden administration is planning to announce on Thursday that it will direct $100 million to the National Health Service Corps to help address the Medicaid shortage.
Pulled from funding in the American Rescue Plan, the $100 million represents one of the nation s biggest investments in a program that helps place primary care doctors in communities where there are difficulty recruiting and retaining them. It is a five-fold increase over previous years, Department of Health and Human Services said.
The National Health Service Corps offers loan repayments and scholarships to clinicians in exchange for a number of years of service in areas with a health care demand.
And so we want to help states that are going to try to do what they can to keep that public health workforce in those rural communities, those low-income communities, where people need them most. The announcement comes after the United States lost 17.500 health care workers in September, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. With the industry's employment figures now more than 16 million, the agency reported that the country has 524,000 health care employees since the start of the pandemic. Job losses in nursing, hospitals and residential care saw the biggest drop in the industry last month.
Losing employees has increased labor costs in turn. Hospitals and other medical facilities have had to sharply increase spending on recruiting employees, according to a report by Moody's Investor Services last week. That has led to more incentive protection options and sign-on bonuses, which have gone well into five figures since the start of the pandemic.
Tener Veenema has basically caused a laser focus on the glaring gaps and dysfunction across the American health system, said Covid, a scholar who is focused at Johns Hopkins University's Center for Health Security on workforce issues. Making investments to redistribute health care providers into low-resourced areas, is so important because we know how much they are suffering from a lack of access to good health care. States can apply for grants beginning in April and the Department of Health and Human Services predicts it will make up to 50 awards of $80,000 to $1 million per year over the course of four years.
Participating states won t have to share funds or utilize other resources in any way to obtain the grants, and they can use 10 percent of the award for administrative costs.
With these funds states can design programs that optimize the selection of disciplines and service locations, and tailor the length of service commitments to address the areas of greatest need in their communities, said Diana Espinosa, the acting administrator of the Health Resources and Services Administration, which oversees the program. This investment will provide crucial access to primary care and reduce health disparities at a critical time. The project start date isn't until September 2022, so it won't have an immediate effect on the current labor shortage. It represents, however, the latest push by the Biden administration to address the issue which experts believe will only get worse over the next decade.
President Joe Biden pulled $100 million this year from the American Rescue Plan to support the Medical Reserve Corp, an all-volunteer Army of physicians, nurses and medical support teams in hopes of accelerating the pace of Covid - 19 vaccinations.
A hundred-million dollars isn't going to take care of everybody, Becerra admitted. But it s going to go a long way in helping our local partners get resources to those state communities, so they can keep that health care worker there, keep them trained, ready and prepared to keep them healthy.