The HPSA (Health Professional Shortage Areas) report team has been busy, they have been collecting data extensively for the last few years and have been kind enough to print and present it to the general public for our dissemination.
Todays HPSA report, (Health Professional Shortage Area) clearly demonstrated that there is most certainly an issue with the distribution of Health professionals. To put it bluntly, if you live in the wrong area, you are going to have to plan and travel if you want to receive treatment! Specifically Physical therapy, it was found that many areas across the US do indeed suffer from a lack of Therapists!
Its all fair and well to collect this data, but what are we going to do about it?! The typical response of nothing it seems is not applicable, it would seem the government has in fact taken heed and introduced new legislation that would impact these statistics.
The Physical Therapist Workforce and Patient Access Act (H.R. 2342/S. 1426) was reintroduced this week, amongst other things it offers loan forgiveness for those with aPhysical Therapy student loan!
That would allow students to register and take part in the National Health Service Corps (NHSC) loan repayment program, this would entail a loan forgiveness of up to $50,000 to graduated students! However, this would all hinge on the students willingness to treat in one of those designated HPSAs (Health Professional Shortage Area) for a minimum of 2 years.
This initiative is one that PT Practice Pro and many other Physical Therapy organizations are keen to get behind and support, there truly is no losers here. Student therapists get to treat, gain experience, earn and have their Physical Therapy Student Loan paid off (well most of it anyway!). While those in need of treatment will have access to it and be able to afford it as they will not have travelling costs to consider. Finally somebody is doing something with an HRSA report!