Health Reform: Health Professional Workforce Workgroup

The Health Reform Health Professional Workforce Workgroup looked at ways that North Carolina can strengthen and expand its current supply of health professionals to meet the expected increase in demand for services as more people gain insurance coverage.

Report | Executive Summary | Presentation: Impact of Affordable Care Act on North Carolina
Tom Bacon, DrPH
North Carolina Area Health Education Centers Program
Kennon Briggs
Executive Vice President and Chief of Staff
North Carolina Community College System
Alan Mabe, PhD
Vice President for Academic Planning General Administration
The University of North Carolina
John Price
North Carolina Office of Rural Health and Community Care
Project Director  Berkeley Yorkery
Project Director
North Carolina Institute of Medicine
Workgroup Overview

The Affordable Care Act (ACA) has provisions to expand the health professional workforce, including primary care providers, nurses, dentists, mental health/substance abuse professionals, allied health, public health professionals and direct care workers. The ACA gives priority to health professional training programs that promote interdisciplinary and integrated care, increase the supply of underrepresented minorities, and improve health care quality. The ACA also includes provisions to increase the supply of health professionals in underserved areas. While the ACA includes many provisions to strengthen and build the health professional workforce, the Act did not include new funding for many of these provisions.

As part of this effort, the Health Professional Workforce Workgroup will work to:

  • Examine funding opportunities for workforce development, including but not limited to: primary care, nursing, allied health, behavioral health, dentistry, public health, direct care workforce

  • Outreach about loan repayment opportunities

  • Identify best models for quality improvement and interdisciplinary training in workforce development programs

  • Foster collaboration and coordinate implementation efforts

Information about the Affordable Care Act

General information about health reform including presentations, a summary of funding opportunities, and helpful links is available here.

Workgroup Background

The overall goal of this effort is to identify the decisions the state must make in implementing health reform. The Advisory Group and workgroups also plan on identifying potential funding opportunities to ensure that we are aware of, and take advantage of, any potential funding opportunity that will help us improve population health, access to care, and health care quality. We want to build on North Carolina's existing strengths and ensure that the decisions made in implementing the federal legislation serve the best interests of the state as a whole.

The effort will be led by Lanier Cansler, Secretary of the NC Department of Health and Human Services, and Wayne Goodwin, Commissioner of the NC Department of Insurance. The new federal health reform legislation will have significant impact on the way that health care is delivered in North Carolina.

To help the state prepare for these changes, eight different workgroups are being established:PreventionSafety NetHealth Professional Workforce, Health Insurance Exchange and Insurance OversightMedicaidNew Models of CareQualityFraud and Abuse.

This planning effort will be led by an Overall Advisory Group that will help coordinate the work of each of these workgroups. Each workgroup will meet approximately one time per month from August 2010-August 2011 to review specific sections of the legislation and examine any new funding opportunities that are made available as part of this legislation.