Grants to increase the supply of primary care providers, enhance direct care training, and support state health workforce planning
By Laura Trude, HWIC Information Specialist
Thanks to the Affordable Care Act, the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) recently made $257.5 million in new grant funds available to increase the supply of primary care providers and improve direct care workforce training. Primary care residency training programs, educational institutions, nurse-practice arrangements, direct care training programs, and states and their workforce partners may be eligible to apply for this new funding before the July 19th deadline:
- $168 million – Primary Care Residency Expansion
- $32 million – Expansion of Physician Assistant Training Program
- $30 million – Advanced Nursing Education Expansion Program
- $15 million – Nurse Managed Health Clinics
- $5 million – Personal and Home Care Aide State Training Program
- $2.5 million – Nursing Assistant and Home Health Aide Program (deadline July 22)
Health Workforce Planning
- $3 million – State Health Care Workforce Implementation Grants
- $2 million – State Health Care Workforce Planning Grants
The primary care grants acknowledge the role of advanced practice nurses and physician assistants as part of the supply of primary care providers by providing funding to expand enrollment in nurse practitioner, physician assistant, and nurse midwifery programs.
While the Affordable Care Act did not specifically set aside money for new physician residency positions, $168 million of these allocations from the Prevention and Public Health fund will go towards primary care residencies. According to a press release from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, this funding will result in “more than 500 new primary care physicians by 2015,” helping address the anticipated increase in demand for primary care physicians as more patients gain health insurance under the health reform law. The Nurse Managed Health Clinic grants will also add to the number of clinical sites for nursing students. As clinical capacity is one of the bottlenecks in nursing supply, this particular grant may not only provide more locations for basic health care services, but increase the nation’s supply of nurses.
The funding to improve direct care worker training acknowledges the importance of having a well-qualified workforce to take care of the nation’s more vulnerable citizens, including the wave of baby boomers set to retire.
Finally, this funding includes the highly anticipated state health workforce planning and implementation grants, which will be especially appreciated given the condition of many states’ budgets. The grants will enable thirty states to plan for their future health workforce needs, particularly important as health care reform changes the shape and demands of the previously modeled health care system.