Health Reform & the Healthcare Workforce (06/17/2010 Webchat)

Uploaded by USHealthReform on 17.06.2010

I'm acting assistant secretary for public affairs here at HHS.
Welcome to our 12th web check on the affordable care act.
Affordable care act is full of important benefits for you and your family that help bring down
healthcare costs, improve the quality of care and give you more control over your own care.
But some details in the bill can be confusing so we're here to try to answer your questions.
We invite you all to submit your own questions throughout the course of the web chat today.
You can tweet us at our Twitter handle is@HHSGOV or email us and that address is health rereform
at Keep your questions as short because we may
have to paraphrase them. If we done have time for your questions, check
our website We do lots of frequently asked questions.
Today we'll talk about strengthening and growing healthcare work force, especially primary
care providers. And that's a critical part of ensuring people
get quality of care they need when they need it.
The aforrable care act strengthens the provider patient relationship and invests in training
and development of the next generation of care givers.
Today we have two guests in studio to help answer your questions.
Secretary Kathleen Sebelius of the department of health and human services and Mary --
services administration also known as HRSA. Thank you both.
Secretary, you joined the press conference with Dr. Wake field and others to announce
initiative and you talked about this being a big priority for the president.
Why is the primary care work force a big deal?
-- I think what the president understands is that you don't have good quality healthcare
unless you have a healthcare provider, unless you can go to the doctor, see a nurse, have
the prepreventive care, wellness care, follow-up care that patients need so the pipeline of
doctor, nurses and mental health is really essential to making sure all Americans have
high call care, it's a huge priority of his from the recovery act which made the made
the first big investment in work force, it continued to be a high priority, talk about
the affordable care act, not giving people access to insurance coverage but certainly
making sure that you can see a doctor.
-- You're from North Dakota, you're from Kansas. I know this has been an issue for rural communities.
Talk a little bit about why that is.
-- Primary care providers are really important in rural and urban communities.
But in a lot of our rural communities that is the provider that you have access to.
That is that family medicine physician, the nurse practitioner, physician assistant who
focuses on keeping the community where they're working well.
Focusing on illness prevention and health promotion in addition to caring for acute
illnesses. The primary care provider in rural communities,
I would say urban committees two is the individual and type of provide their is the backbone
of keeping our nation healthy.
-- Okay. Your a nurse as well.
-- Yes.
-- I think we have the two highest ranking nurses in the entire administration with you
and Marilyn so talk how you package the secretary yesterday helps nurses.
-- The package that she announced yesterday, this particular set of new provisions fund
through the affordable care act have two very important initiatives, if you will, that directly
impact nurses and one of them focusing specifically on nurse practitioner, so one of the announcements
yesterday will put an additional $30 million into training programs for nurse practitioners.
What's that going to do? That will add about 600 new nurse practitioners
to the healthcare work force. But even more important than that, primary
care nurse practitioners. The other provision that's important to nurses
is funding that's available and that was announced yesterday to support nurse managed health
clinics. There will be about $15 million that will
flow into a set of nurse managed health clinics that provide training opportunities for that
next generation of healthcare providers. Primarily nurse practitioners and nurses but
within those managed health clinics we see other healthcare providers educate and trained.
Social workers, medical students and others because typically that clinic is tide to
-- tied to an academic institution.
-- Okay. Kathleen has a question so I'll ask Kathleen
Sebelius first, my local community health center is often the primary source of care
for myself and my families. How will the affordable care act affect my
ability to get care at community health centers?
-- The affordable care act again kind of is built on what started as a big investment
in recovery act which was to begin to add new sites, update existing community health
centers and it added additional money, additional resources and now nurse-led health centers
so we are going to make sure that about double the number of Americans will have access to
a community health center as now can get their primary care through a community health center.
Which is a convenient usually in the neighborhood, primary health home for millions of Americans,
20 million right now are follow citizens can go to a local community health center which
not only provides healthcare but often follow-up care, a lot of them have support programs
for parents. Some do job counseling services, it's a neighborhood
support center which also delivers healthcare. That's what will be continue to expand under
the affordable care act, that's good news for lots of Americans.
-- The other question I was struck by, what she's getting now won't change.
There's been information about how people change.
If you get your care at a community health center you can still --
-- Absolutely. In fact, the resources from both the recovery
act passed in 2009 and now the aFordable care act, there will be more resources available
to not only existing community health centers, in some cases the existing center is going
to have satellite offices. So maybe at a school or maybe in a neighborhood
that's not well served. In some places they need a new senor all together.
Those will be created as part of this program so the existing footprint will be stronger
and we know that there will be new opportunities for more Americans to access community health
-- If I might just to add to what the secretary said, those millions of new patients that
can be seen, because of the affordable care act through the community health centers,
there really -- we really are talking about millions.
Currently the community health centers support care for about 19 million individuals.
With this investment of $11 billion, we're going to see that almost double.
We expect by 2015 we'll see close to 40 million people whose care can be received through
those community health centers. And it is about resources for construction
and renovation and it is about expanding availability of services at those sites.
So in your comment Jennie, when you say will their healthcare change, if anything it can
be expanded. So at a site that doesn't have access to oral
health H new resources expand the availability of services.
And in addition as the secretary indicated will be funding new siteses right now we have
7,900 across the country so there will be new ones coming online making community health
centers more accessible in rural and urban areas.
-- This is a good question that ELISE sent in, it's a short question for you.
Can you identify the sites, web sites for accepting grant information and program information
since you gave nice detail there?
-- Sure. This is for not just the announcement but
the secretary made yesterday but also announcements about any funning available.
Grants.dove. Could it be any easier? You can go to
Either site will take you to information about how to apply for funds.
-- We have five or six minutes left so rapid fire questions here.
I don't have a name on this but this individual says I'm college student interesting in becoming
a family doctor. By afraid I'll never be able to afford the
cost of med school. What help is available?
-- So we have most important in the program nearest an dearest to my heart, the national
health service corp. Allows repayment of loans or scholarships
in exchange for individuals medical students who choose primary care, nurse practitioner,
physician assistants and other primary care providers to work in an underserved area an
benefits in exchange for that have loans repaid or receive scholarships while they're in medical
school. Very important program.
-- You met some of these people along the way at community health centers.
What do they mean for next generation to have this opportunity?
-- I don't think there's any question that you have a lot of people fearful of the debt
that maybe incurred through medical school. So having more scholarships, having more loan
repayments and exchanging that for some servicing and underserved areas is a win/win.
There's new train doc or nurse practitioner or nurse and we have an opportunity to put
them for a period of time to work in an area that needs a doctor or nurse.
And we know a lot of people like our current Surgeon General had -- went through medical
school, had her loans repaid through the national health service corpS served in an area in
Alabama and stay there had. Continued to practice medicine not because
she had to but because she became the health home for lots of people, he became very attached
to that community and stayed there and that experience happened over and over and over
again. So it's a great win/win situation.
We need more doctors and nurses. Without passage of the affordable care act
we have an aging population who will need more health services.
We know we have a retiring group of doctors and nurses that we have been building this
pipeline for some time and the new assets and affordable care act recovery act help
us to move along at a faster pace, more medical providers are part of the future.
-- That's great. I want to take the last question off of our
prevention topic and go to Jerry who has a question.
I'm going to start with the secretary the answer this.
I'm on Medicare and I I'm worried about losing my physician.
How will the affordable care act affect doctors participating in Medicare?
-- I think Jerry, there was a lot of unfortunate information put tout seniors during the course
of the debate and one threat was you won't have a doctor any longer with Medicare.
Actually the biggest threat to doctors has nothing to do with the healthcare bill but
has to do with a payment situation which has been part of the loss for the last ten years.
Congress has never fixed it. A payment gap that will occur unless Congress
gives Medicare providers an update, that bill is penning today in the United States Senate.
We are hopeful that the Senate will step up and pass -- fix that's needed but immediately
we want to go back to the table. The president thinks this needs to be fixed
long tear. You can't threaten dock doctors with the cut
in pay. They understand they are the delivery system
for 48 million Americans who rely on Medicare benefits.
We wait a long term fix, the president put it in the budget, he's urged Congress to the
table. We need the Bill passed today and tomorrow
the house and Senate but we need to go back to the table to make sure Jerry and my dad
who is a Medicare beneficiary don't lose their healthcare providers, don't have any worries
a at no time fact that -- the fact that the benefits are secure but also the providers
going to continue in the system.
-- 30 seconds left for each. One last parting thought on why this work
force is important and how does it translate in every day American sitting at home saying
what does this mean for me?
-- What it means I think in particular the announcement made yesterday about the investment
in primary care providers is hundreds of thousands more individuals across the country will have
access to a primary care provider. This is about investing and keeping people
healthy. And if they do become sick and managing that
chronic illness, far better, far earlier, if it's has, diabetes, primary care providers
are the backbone of prevention and keeping the nation healthy.
So I can't think of a better message other than we're moving the needle and pointing
it right toward keeping people healthy. In addition to caring for them when they become
ill. That's what this investment helps to do.
-- Okay. Again, I think as the president has said from
the beginning you can't have a good healthcare system without good healthcare providers.
With without enough healthcare providers. It's a worry.
People focused ton additional Americans who have health insurance but those Americans
are accessing the health system now, they come through the doors of an emergency room
or they wait until they're very sick in order to get help an care.
I think the new system will let them access care at a much earlier level, keep them healthy
at the front end, and that's really why we need more primary care providers, more nurse
practitioner, more nurses an mental health technicians to provide that wellness care
that preventive care that we know is better for patient, better for the medical system,
lowers our cost in the long run and a lot better for the country.
-- Great. Thank you.
I want to thank you all for join us today and our two guests Kathleen Sebelius, secretary
of HHS, Dr. Mary wakefield, ad minute traitor of HRSA, health resources an service administration.
We hope to have answered a lot of questions today.
Go to You can also check back and watch this show
any time you want so if you have a young person thinking about going to nursing or nurse practitioner
or doctor, make sure they watch this show. There's resources available for them.
Thanks for joining us and we'll see you next time.