To help expand and support the nation’s supply of primary care practitioners, HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius today announced the availability of funds for two programs that receive funding under the Affordable Care Act.
The Teaching Health Center Graduate Medical Education Program, created by the Affordable Care Act, increases primary care medical and dental residency training in health centers and other settings by funding residents’ medical education expenses. The program seeks to increase the primary care workforce as well as improve its distribution into communities that need them most, as there is good evidence that providers who receive training in community and underserved settings tend to practice in these settings. Community-based ambulatory care centers that operate an accredited primary care residency program are eligible to become Teaching Health Centers. The Affordable Care Act made $230 million available for this program over five years.
“The Teaching Health Center program currently supports more than 300 residents for academic year 2013-2014,” said Secretary Sebelius. “This new funding opportunity will build on its progress and help support additional residents to increase our nation’s supply of essential primary care providers.”
The Primary Care Services Resource Coordination and Development Program supports State Primary Care Offices to coordinate activities related to the delivery of primary care services and recruitment and retention of critical health care providers. Approximately $11 million – $2 million of which is provided by the Affordable Care Act – will support these State efforts.
“The Health Resources and Services Administration’s (HRSA’s) partnerships with states are instrumental to increasing access to high quality health care,” said Mary K. Wakefield, Ph.D., R.N., administrator of HRSA, which oversees both programs. “Together, we are working to support primary care providers in the communities where they are needed the most.”
The Health Resources and Services Administration is part of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. HRSA is the primary Federal agency responsible for improving access to health care services for people who are uninsured, isolated, or medically vulnerable. For more information about HRSA and its programs, visit www.hrsa.gov.