3RNet Blog

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This blog post comes to us from our Nebraska member and 3RNet Board of Directors president-elect, Tom Rauner.

There are several state and federal incentive programs in Nebraska which are used to address health care provider shortages. Each of the incentive programs offer significant resource assistance to help recruit and retain health care providers in underserved areas. We have been working with local communities and health care training institutions to use these incentive programs to reduce health care access issues. These programs are essential to helping to ensure access to health care services.

A graph below shows the number of obligated provider placements by program for each year for the past 10 years. 

Currently, there are 100 health professionals, including 44 primary care providers, on the Nebraska Student Loan Program or the Nebraska Loan Repayment Program. In terms of the federal National Health Service Corps programs, there are a total of 54 health professionals, including 33 primary care providers that are part of the loan repayment program.

You can learn more about the Nebraska Student Loan Program here: http://dhhs.ne.gov/publichealth/RuralHealth/Pages/StudentLoanProgram.aspx, the Nebraska Loan Repayment Program here: http://dhhs.ne.gov/publichealth/RuralHealth/Pages/LoanRepaymentProgram.aspx, and National Health Service Corps programs here: https://nhsc.hrsa.gov/index.html.

Many rural communities have also experienced shortages of several other types of health professionals such as dentists and mental health. Although the new alternative delivery models are based on a strong network of primary care health professionals, these models, will not function effectively without strong support from other health professionals. While the supply of most of these other health professionals continues to expand, this growth may not be sufficient to replace the number of retirees.

You may learn more about these programs by visiting our web site and or talking to staff in our office: http://dhhs.ne.gov/publichealth/RuralHealth/Pages/Loans.aspx.

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