KHN Morning Briefing

Summaries of health policy coverage from major news organizations.

Grants Seek To Bolster, Expand Primary Care Workforce

CQ HealthBeat: "Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius on Tuesday announced $320 million in grants to bolster and expand the nation's primary care workforce as part of the health care overhaul law. … Of the $320 million, $253 million will go to six programs administered by HHS' Health Resources and Services Administration The money will be used by states to deal with current and expected labor shortages. The awards include $167.3 million for the Primary Care Residency Expansion program; $30.1 million for the Expansion of Physician Assistant Training; $31 million for the Advanced Nursing Education Expansion program and $14.8 million for the Nurse Managed Health Clinics effort. Of the remainder, $5.65 million will go to 26 states to begin comprehensive health care workforce planning or implementation and $4.2 million will go to the Personal and Home Care Aide State Training program" (9/28).

Local news coverage offered a sampling of what these grants might mean in specific areas:

The Associated Press/Boston Globe: "Vermont is getting a big federal grant to help expand the primary health care work force. … [and] the University of Vermont will get $131,786 of it for planning" (9/29). 

The Baltimore Sun Blog: "Maryland will get $3.9 million to increase the primary care workforce as part of funding provided under the new health care reform law" (Brewington, 9/28).

KXLH Television: Meanwhile, in other workforce news, the Montana "Board of Medical Examiners has opened registration for the Montana Health Corps to retired doctors which will allow for house calls to certain Treasure State residents. The Montana Health Corps Act, passed during the 2009 legislative session, adds this home-care option for Medicaid and Medicare patients to receive healthcare in their homes" (9/28).

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