Monday, March 26, 2012

Feds pays doctors' loans if they work in 'underserved' areas; Texas paper spotlights one

In 2010, the Obama administration's health-reform law boosted funding for the National Health Service Corps by more than $530 million. By 2015, funding for the program will reach more than $1 billion. The program forgives doctors' student loans in exchange for a stint in a medically under-served area, most of which are rural. Conner Howell of the Denton Record-Chronicle in Texas wrote recently about the program and a local doctor who benefited from it, a story that could be told in many places.

Howell reports that the total number of doctors in the program is now up to more than 10,000 from 3,600 in 2008. Texas ranks 47th in the number of primary care doctors per 100,000 people, according to the Association of American Medical Colleges' 2011 physician workforce report. Howell reports fewer than 18,000 primary-care doctors serve the state's 25 million people, 3.5 million of which live in rural areas.

The National Health Service Corps is "reasonably effective in getting doctors into medically underserved areas, particularly in short-term stints," said Dr. Howard Rabinowitz, a rural health expert at Thomas Jefferson University. The Department of Health and Human Services announced last October the program had provided almost $900 million in loan repayment because of investments from the new health-care law. (Read more)

1 comment:

Liz said...

Well, if this is the best solution that Pres. Obama have think of then let the loan forgiveness act be one. We all want to get a better life living so I think having a debt-less and a non-defaulted loan is what we really have to maintain.