March 23, 2023
Lawmakers Eye Health Workforce Scholarship Federal Match Legislation
Inside Health Policy
Stakeholders are urging the Senate health committee to consider scaling up a public-private scholarship match program as a federal solution to health care workforce shortages after state-level versions of the legislation garnered overwhelming bipartisan support. The federal legislation would incentivize states to adopt an existing model of the fund by offering Federal Medical Assistance Percentage (FMAP) bumps of around 10%, akin to those proposed in Sen. Bob Casey’s (D-PA) Better Care Better Jobs Act, and an expert on the legislation suggested several other federal financial incentive options legislators could build in.
The expert told Inside Health Policy draft legislation that would federally operationalize the scholarship partnership is currently under consideration in Congress on both sides of the aisle.
The Senate health committee is considering a slew of options to tackle the health care workforce crisis as worker shortages reach hundreds of thousands across the sector. Committee members on Feb. 16 walked through a broad array of solutions experts and legislators have put forward in recent months, and on March 7 dove deeper into shoring up community health centers’ workforces.
As part of the hearings, Chair Bernie Sanders (I-VT) and ranking Republican Bill Cassidy (LA) in early March issued a request for information to all stakeholders on the root causes of the ongoing shortages, and they hope to develop bipartisan legislation based on the feedback. Comments were due March 20.
The Partnership for Quality Home Healthcare recommended the committee consider legislation that would scale up public-private workforce scholarship legislation at play in Florida and Kentucky.