Senate HELP Committee Holds Hearing on Growing the Health Care Workforce 

During the Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions (HELP) Primary Health and Retirement Security Subcommittee hearing titled “A Dire Shortage and Getting Worse: Solving the Crisis in the Health Care Workforce,” senators displayed bipartisan support for addressing the nation’s physician shortages. Members of the subcommittee expressed their support for increasing funding for Medicare-supported residency programs and tweaking and expanding those programs to entice medical students to go into primary care practice in medically underserved and rural areas. NRHA is supportive of proposal that prioritize increasing rural residency training slots, as enrolling trainees with rural backgrounds and training residents in rural settings are strategies shown to successfully encourage graduates to practice in rural settings, where health professional shortages are most severe. In NRHA’s fiscal year (FY) 2022 appropriations requests, we urge Congress to expand the Rural Residency Planning and Development Program to support the development of new rural residency programs.