Rosen, Boozman Introduce Bipartisan Legislation to Address Health Care Provider Shortage by Pausing Interest Accrual, Student Loan Repayments During Residency

This Legislation is the Latest in Rosen’s Efforts to Tackle the Physician Shortage in Nevada

WASHINGTON, DC – Today, U.S. Senator Jacky Rosen (D-NV), a member of the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions (HELP), and Senator John Boozman (R-AR) introduced the Resident Education Deferred Interest (REDI) Act to help alleviate the health care provider shortage by easing the economic burden on medical and dental students. This bipartisan bill would allow for a pause on student loan interest accrual, as well as a pause on principal loan repayment, for medical and dental students while serving in their residencies or internships. 

“Nevadans are facing dire health care provider shortages, which have only been made worse by the COVID-19 pandemic and the strains it has placed on our medical workforce,” said Senator Rosen. “This bipartisan legislation would provide economic relief for the next generation of health care providers while they are in their residency programs and internships, lowering barriers and encouraging further specialization and innovation in these fields. The bill would also provide flexibility for providers who opt to serve patients in rural and underserved areas, improving access to care in communities that need it the most, and allowing providers to serve communities in which they might have been otherwise unable.” 

“As our population ages, it’s important to have healthcare providers who can care for patients, no matter where they live,” said Senator Boozman. “With the predicted shortage of medical professionals, we must encourage students to pursue careers in medicine and make it easier for them to manage the financial burdens generated during their education. This legislation is a practical approach to address that problem and I’m pleased to join Senator Rosen in taking this step to break down barriers for future physicians and dentists.”

Earlier this month, Senator Rosen questioned Dr. Margaret Flinter in a Senate subcommittee hearing about solutions to address Nevada’s health care provider shortage. Dr. Flinter, who founded the National Nurse Practitioner Residency and Fellowship Training Consortium, praised Senator Rosen’s bipartisan REDI ACT as a “pragmatic and useful” solution to help address the health provider shortage in rural areas, including Nevada.

The REDI Act is endorsed by the American Medical Association, the American Academy of Family Physicians, the American College of Physicians, the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry, the American College of Emergency Physicians, the American Psychiatric Association, the American Dental Association, the National Dental Association, the Hispanic Dental Association, the American Association of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons, and many others.

Nevada currently ranks 48th in the nation when it comes to primary care physicians per capita, and all 17 counties in the state are designated as “Health Professional Shortage Areas.” Senator Rosen has been actively working to address the physician shortage in communities across Nevada. She has introduced or co-led bipartisan legislation to: 

  • Fund additional Federally Qualified Health Centers, Rural Health Clinics, and mobile clinics
  • Expand the Medical Student Education (MSE) Program, ensuring that Nevada is eligible for funding to help reduce its physician shortage.
  • Allow international physicians to remain in the United States upon completing their residency under the condition that they practice in areas experiencing doctor shortages.