HHS Awards $320 Million to Expand Primary Care

Cheryl Clark, for HealthLeaders Media , September 29, 2010

Another $14.8 million will fund 10 grantees for three years to operate 10 nurse managed health clinics, nurse-practitioner arrangements managed by advanced practice nurses to provide primary care and wellness services to underserved and vulnerable populations. These clinics are associated with a school, college, university or department of nursing or federally qualified health center or independent non-profit health or social services agency.

Twenty-six state health workforce development programs will receive $5.6 million, with each state limited to a one-year, $150,000 amount plus 15% matching funds. 

The idea is that the money will be used for planning, gathering and analyzing data, current resources, policies and practices and to remove barriers that limit primary care opportunities at state and local levels. "These activities are expected to result in a 10-25% increase in the primary care health workforce over a 10-year-period."

Personal and home care aide training will receive $4.2 million to expand the number of people who provide paid hands-on long-term care and personal assistance to the elderly, or people living with disabilities and other chronic conditions.

This area is expected to be the fourth fastest growing direct care occupation in the U.S. between 2008 and 2018.  This is a demonstration project that supports states in developing a uniform competency curriculum to train qualified personal and home health aides. About 5,100 personal and home care aides will be trained by 2013.

Cheryl Clark is senior quality editor and California correspondent for HealthLeaders Media. She is a member of the Association of Health Care Journalists.

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