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Analysis

More Rural Docs: HHS Allots $20M for New Residency Programs

By Steven Porter  
   July 19, 2019

Twenty-seven recipient organizations were awarded up to $750,000 apiece. They include rural hospitals, community health centers, schools of medicine, native American tribal organizations, and health centers run by the Indiana Health Service.

The Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) awarded about $20 million Thursday in Rural Residency Planning and Development Program (RRPD) grants, with the goal of boosting the number of doctors serving rural America.

The 27 recipients were allotted up to $750,000 apiece over a three-year period to establish new rural residency programs. The idea is to alleviate the rural physician shortage by developing programs in family medicine, internal medicine, and psychiatry near the geographic areas in which the need is especially pressing.

"We know that clinicians who train in rural settings are more likely to continue to practice there after they complete their residencies," said HRSA Associate Administrator for the Bureau of Health Workforce Luis Padilla, MD, FAAFP, in a statement. "Rural communities are more likely to have a shortage of health professionals."

The grant recipients include rural hospitals, community health centers, schools of medicine, native American tribal organizations, and health centers run by the Indiana Health Service across 21 states. Their programs are expected to achieve accreditation through the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education.

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Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar said promoting rural health is among the Trump administration's healthcare priorities.

"Supporting the training of healthcare providers in rural areas through grants like these is a key way to help expand rural access to care, and is part of an overall effort to support rural healthcare in sustainable, innovative, and flexible ways," Azar said in the statement.

“...clinicians who train in rural settings are more likely to continue to practice there...”

Steven Porter is an associate content manager and Strategy editor for HealthLeaders, a Simplify Compliance brand.


KEY TAKEAWAYS

The idea is that training physicians near the areas where they are needed increases the likelihood of their sticking around.

The new residency programs are expected to achieve graduate medical education accreditation.


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