WASHINGTON, June 12, 2013 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- An organization representing the nation's academic health centers, along with 26 of its member institutions, has sent a letter to the House and Senate Appropriations Committees calling for a $3 million appropriation for the National Health Care Workforce Commission (NHCWC). The Commission was formed in 2010 but has never met due to lack of funding by Congress. As the 2014 deadline for all individuals to acquire health insurance approaches, millions more people will enter a healthcare system amid growing concerns that there is not a sufficient health workforce to even meet current needs.
"The country is in need of an integrated, comprehensive, national health workforce policy," said Dr. Steven Wartman, president and CEO of the Association of Academic Health Centers (AAHC). "The most efficient route to achieving that goal is to fund the NHCWC and enable the group to take up its charge and substantively address and recommend solutions to the nation's health workforce needs."
In the letter, AAHC highlights the complexity of the health workforce issue and argues that it is more than a matter of ensuring the right number of health professionals in the right places. A national health workforce policy should also take into consideration how, where, and by whom health care is being delivered.
"Investing a modest $3 million in the nation's health workforce now has the potential to save billions in health care costs over the long term," notes Dr. Wartman. "Funding the NHCWC is a down payment on a more efficient and effective healthcare system overall."
The letter follows the April release of AAHC's "A Call to Action" report which is an update to its previous published Out of Order, Out of Time: The State of the Nation's Health Workforce. The report calls for adequate and immediate funding for the NHCWC and empowering the commission to work expeditiously and with a sense of urgency to address the health workforce needs.
Based in Washington, AAHC is a non-profit association dedicated to advancing the nation's health and well-being through the vigorous leadership of academic health centers.
SOURCE Association of Academic Health Centers