February 28, 2014

Possible New Funding to Train Primary Care Physicians

By Christy Gullion

On Tuesday, President Obama will release his FY2015 budget request to Congress. We learned yesterday – while we were on Capitol Hill advocated for more Graduate Medical Education funding to train primary care physicians – that the President’s budget proposal will include:

• $5.23 billion over 10 years to train 13,000 primary care residents in high-need communities, and in team-based care, such as an accountable care organization.

• Higher payments to Medicaid providers, including physician assistants and nurse practitioners, by one year at a cost of about $5.44 billion.

• $3.95 billion over the next six years in the National Health Services Corps to support growing the program from 8,900 primary care providers in 2013 to at least 15,000 annually starting in the 2015 fiscal year.

The proposal will also address a shortage of mental health providers by offering new residency opportunities for psychiatrists, psychiatric nurse practitioners, and other mental health providers as part of the team-based approach.

We look forward to seeing more details next week, but this is the first encouraging news in a long while related to training more primary care physicians.

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