Congresswoman Announces New Bill to Addresses Rural Physician Shortages

Congresswoman Yadira Caraveo, M.D. (D-CO) announced a bill to expand healthcare accessibility in rural communities. The Rural Residency Planning and Development Act of 2024 (H.R. 7855), introduced by Rep. Caraveo (D-CO), and Rep. Carol Miller (R-WV), would authorize the Rural Residency Planning and Development program to continue building a strong pipeline of rural physicians for years to come. Nearly 20% of Americans live in rural areas, but only 10% of physicians practice in these communities. Among current medical residency programs, only two percent of training occurs in rural areas. To tackle this shortage, the Rural Residency Planning and Development program, housed under the Health Services and Resources Administration (HRSA), awards funding to support start-up costs to establish new rural residency programs. As of November 2023, award recipients have created 39 new accredited rural residency programs or rural track programs and enrolled 306 resident physicians training in rural clinical settings. Please find NRHA’s rural workforce legislative agenda here.