Primary care physician training expanded with $167 million HHS grant

Funds from the health reform law will help create nearly 900 residency slots in pediatrics and internal and family medicine by 2015.

By Chris Silva — Posted Oct. 15, 2010

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More than 80 accredited primary care residency programs will be able to increase the number of doctors they help train, thanks to a $167.3 million grant from the Dept. of Health and Human Services.

By 2015, the money will help create 889 primary care residencies in general pediatrics, general internal medicine and family medicine.

The grant is part of $320 million in awards that HHS announced on Sept. 27. The funding, which will strengthen the primary care work force, was made available through the health system reform law.

"Chronic diseases, most of which are preventable, are one of the main reasons health care costs have soared over the past several decades," HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius said. "Investing in our primary care work force will strengthen the role that wellness and prevention play in our health care system. With these grants, Americans from all backgrounds will have new opportunities to enter the health care work force."

Funds going to other areas of the primary care-related work force:

  • $30.1 million to expand physician assistant training. The money will pay for 28 primary care physician assistant training programs for five years. Students will receive a $22,000 stipend per year, for two years.
  • $31 million to expand advanced nursing education. The money will go to 26 nursing schools to increase full-time enrollment in primary care nurse-practitioner and nurse-midwife programs. The government projects that the five-year program will support more than 1,300 primary care nursing stipends. Students will receive a $22,000 stipend per year for two years.
  • $14.8 million to help 10 nurse-managed health clinics that provide primary care or wellness services to underserved or vulnerable populations and are associated with a school, college, university or department of nursing. HHS said the money would go toward training for more than 900 advanced-practice nurses, who will help provide access to primary care for about 94,000 patients.
  • $5.6 million to help 26 states begin comprehensive health care work force planning or implementation. Planning grants are limited to one year and $150,000, plus 15% matching funds from the state.
  • $4.2 million to support personal and home care aide state training. This is a demonstration project that supports states in developing and evaluating a competency-based uniform curriculum to train qualified personal and home care aides.

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