HRSA consolidates health care provider programs

The Health Resources and Services Administration formed a single department to oversee the administration of health care provider scholarships, loans and loan repayment programs to encourage working in underserved areas. The new Bureau of Health Workforce combines the work of the now disbanded Bureau of Health Professions and Bureau of Clinician Recruitment and Service. Among the programs now housed in a single bureau are: the National Health Service Corps’ loan repayment and scholarship programs for primary care providers-in-training; NURSE Corps scholarship and loan repayment programs; and a faculty loan repayment program for disadvantaged health professions faculty.

Magnet status attracts money

Accreditation as a nurse Magnet Hospital increases hospital revenues by an average of $1.2 million, according to a study published in the Medical Care journal and funded by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. The authors of the report attributed the added revenue to increased reimbursement from insurers due to improved outcomes that magnet hospitals have exhibited in previous studies. Given that the average cost to achieve Magnet status is about $500,000 and it takes about 4.25 years on average, the cost of gaining the designation is earned back in roughly two years, according to Robert Wood Johnson.

More recent grad NPs entering primary care

The use of nurse practitioners in primary care appears to be rising, according to the Health Resources and Services Administration. Research contained in “Highlights from the 2012 National Sample Survey of Nurse Practitioners” found that among the most recent waves of NP program graduates, the percentage employed in primary care was greater than in the previous five years. The report states that 46.6 percent of graduates in 2008 or later were employed in primary care, up from the 42.5 percent of graduates from the years 2003 to 2007. “We are encouraged by the growth of primary care nurse practitioners,” says Mary Wakefield, R.N., administrator.