Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Investing in Public Health

HHS announced funding for $250 million to strengthen the primary healthcare workforce and another $250 million to support prevention activities and develop the nation’s public health infrastructure. The new investments are funded through the Affordable Care Act.

The funding to expand the healthcare workforce will support the training and development of more than 16,000 new primary care providers over the next five years. The $250 million to strengthen the workforce will:

• Create additional primary care residency slots with $168 million to use to train more than 500 new primary care physicians by 2015
• Support physician assistant training in primary care with $32 million to provide for more than 600 new physician assistants
• Encourage students to pursue full time nursing careers with $30 million used to encourage over 600 nursing students to go into this career
• Establish new nurse practitioner-led clinics with $15 million to operate 10 nurse-managed health clinics to train nurse practitioners
• Encourage states to address health professional workforce needs with $5 million to help states to plan and implement innovative strategies to expand their primary care workforce by 10 to 25 percent over ten years

The $250 million in funding to be used to address prevention and public health will:

• Support federal, state, and community prevention initiatives with $126 million to be used to integrate primary care services into publicly funded community-based behavioral health settings to address obesity prevention and fitness and tobacco cessation
• Further develop the public health infrastructure with $70 million to support state, local, and tribal public health infrastructure and build state and local capacity to prevent, detect, and respond to infectious disease outbreaks
• Support funds to do research and tracking with $70 million to be used for data collection and analysis
• Support public health training with $23 million to expand CDC’s public health workforce programs and public health training centers