Using Information to Maximize Workforce Incentive Programs
Special Projects Fund
December 12, 2022
Marginalized communities, including low-income and rural communities and communities of color, have less access to an adequate supply of trained health care providers and high-quality care.
New York is among the states with the highest numbers of federally-designated health care provider and primary care facility shortage areas. State and federal agencies have developed service obligation programs as incentives meant to encourage providers to work in shortage areas, but these programs are underused for two main reasons: (1) the process to apply and maintain eligibility is complex; and (2) there is a lack of easily accessible public information about shortage areas and associated incentive program eligibility. In 2022, NYHealth awarded the Center for Health Workforce Studies (CHWS), through fiscal sponsor Health Research, Inc., a grant to build and launch an online portal to improve access to information about health care shortage areas and workforce incentive programs that encourage health care providers to practice in underserved communities.
Under this grant, CHWS will feature up-to-date information about shortage designations and incentive programs in its online portal. Live newsfeeds and searchable tools will offer real-time information that can help providers complete their applications and help organizations develop recruitment strategies. The portal will shorten CHWS’s response time to questions about designations and incentive programs and house user-friendly tools for applicants. CHWS will engage a range of partners to promote the portal and raise awareness among hospital recruiters, schools, and other training programs. CHWS will also provide technical assistance to up to 250 providers and organizations. Ultimately, the goal is that the portal and technical assistance will foster greater willingness among providers to apply for and participate in incentive programs, which will in turn lead to increased primary care access for New Yorkers.