AAMC President and CEO Darrell G. Kirch, M.D., Sept. 30 applauded Senators Jack Reed (D-R.I.) and Roy Blunt (R-Mo.) for reintroducing the Building a Health Care Workforce for the Future Act (S.2107), legislation that would offer incentives for primary and specialty care providers to practice in underserved areas and includes a number of provisions addressing the factors that graduating medical students cite as affecting their specialty choice.
In his letter, Dr. Kirch thanked Sens. Reed and Blunt for introducing this legislation, and noted that the bill “will improve access to care for individuals in health professional shortage areas, medically underserved areas, and other underserved communities.”
Among its provisions, the bill would:
- Create a scholarship program to complement the National Health Service Corps by offering federal matching funds to states that invest in health professional scholarship programs in which scholarship recipients must complete a service requirement in designated shortage areas;
- Establish under Title VII a program to increase longitudinal mentorship opportunities for entering medical students who express an interest in primary care, as well as a program to identify effective mentors in primary care through a nationwide network of primary care mentors and resources; and
- Commission a study to examine less burdensome documentation requirements under Medicare for evaluation and management services.
Sens. Reed and Blunt introduced the bill in the 113th Congress [see Washington Highlights, June 14, 2013]. Reps. Raul Ruiz (D-Calif.), David McKinley (R-W.Va.), and others introduced House companion legislation earlier this year [see Washington Highlights, February 20, 2015].