Mar 04, 2014

President’s 2015 Budget Seeks to Boost Primary Care

Today the Obama Administration released its 2015 fiscal budget.  In the budget, President Obama proposed fixing the glitch that left nurse practitioners (NPs) out of the Medicaid primary care bonus, and extending those increased payment rates for all Medicaid primary care providers for one year. This provision was specifically mentioned in the Institute of Medicine’s report,The Future of Nursing: Leading Change, Advancing Health. The proposal also calls for $3.95 billion over six years for the National Health Services Corps (NHSC) to grow the program from 8,900 primary care providers in 2013 to at least 15,000 in 2015. Ten percent of the NHSC funding would be reserved for NPs and physician assistants.

If enacted by Congress, these proposals would benefit consumers and family caregivers by increasing access to quality primary and preventive health care and improving consumer choice of providers. This is especially important given the rising shortage of primary care practitioners. We will keep you updated as we continue our analysis of the budget and as Congress considers the president’s proposal.