CHCs as Training Grounds for Primary Care Physicians
Amid all the anguish in the medical community over changes to come from the implementation of the Affordable Care Act, perhaps this is the most daunting: the expected doubling in size of the patient load.
The national problem of too few primary care physicians is only going to get worse. And for rural areas, where there are one-fourth fewer doctors per person than urban areas, the right word to use is "crisis." In fact, 68% of the communities with federally designated doctor shortages are rural.
But a report published by the National Association of Community Health Centers lays out the strengths of the community health center system and proposes that CHCs have an important role to play in training future primary care docs.
While hospitals across the country are jockeying for position by gobbling each other up in complicated financial transactions, the nation's Community Health Centers are quietly making preparations of their own.
With nearly $1 billion in federal funding announced this month alone, and much of that earmarked specifically to increase access to preventive and primary healthcare, CHCs are in a position to make wide-reaching and long-term impact on healthcare.
Here's how they can do it:
Training: The ACA authorizes a program called Teaching Health Center (THC) that provides payments to eligible “teaching health centers” to cover the direct and indirect costs of primary care residency training. NACHC's report calls CHC residency training programs "extremely effective tools for the recruitment and retention of family practice physicians into community-based practice."
- As Medicare Advantage Cuts Loom, Disagreement Over Program's Stability
- Surgical Checklists Unused in 10% of Hospitals, CMS Data Shows
- Doctors Feel Pressure to Accept Risk-based Reimbursement
- A Fresh Look at End-of-Life Care
- 3 in 4 Patients Want E-mail Consultations
- Heart Attack Patient Costs Skyrocket Beyond 30 Days
- Centralizing the Revenue Cycle Protects the Bottom Line
- ACGME Chief Sees 'Huge' Risk of Error in Proposed Assistant Physician Licensure
- 3 Insider Tips on Cutting Costs without Strangling Growth
- 4 Tectonic Shifts Shaking Up Healthcare