WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, U.S. Senator Jacky Rosen (D-NV), a member of the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions (HELP), announced her co-sponsorship of S.1191, the Training the Next Generation of Primary Care Doctors Act. This bipartisan legislation would reauthorize the Teaching Health Center Graduate Medical Education program for five years and provide an increase in funding to allow for program expansion.
“The effects of our state’s medical workforce shortage is hurting Nevada families,” said Senator Rosen. “This bipartisan legislation will help to train the next generation of primary care doctors in our state and help to support the medical workforce, specifically in underserved and rural areas. I’ll continue working with my colleagues on both sides of the aisle to make sure Nevadans have access to the medical care they need.”
BACKGROUND: Currently, Nevada ranks 48th in the nation in terms of primary care physicians per capita.
This bipartisan legislation reauthorizes and expands the Teaching Health Centers Graduate Medical Education Program for five years, with funds to extend the program to new locations. This would offer new opportunities for Nevada health centers to provide medical training in partnership with hospitals, so residents receive a full range of training rotations in addition to experience in rural or underserved community settings. Research shows that residents who focus on primary care and train in underserved and rural areas are more likely to practice in those communities.
Earlier this year, Senator Rosen sent a letter to Comptroller General Gene L. Dodaro requesting a report from GAO that outlines solutions for addressing the physician shortage and access to health care services. According to the Health Resources and Services Administration, nationwide 14,900 primary care providers are currently needed to fill this gap.
Last Congress, then-Congresswoman Rosen supported the bipartisan Resident Physician Shortage Act of 2017 (H.R. 2267), which would work to reduce the shortage of physicians in the United States by increasing the number of Medicare-supported graduate medical education (GME) residency slots at U.S. hospitals, as well as Medicare-supported hospital residency positions.
Earlier this year, Senator Rosen introduced the bipartisan Building Blocks of STEM Act (S.737) to provide better access to STEM education to provide students greater opportunities to pursue careers in science and health. This legislation recently advanced out of the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation.