- Health Professionals Registry (MoHWoRx) NEW
- Missouri Health Professional Placement Services
- Health Professional Shortage Areas (HPSA)
- National Health Service Corps
- Federally Qualified Health Care Centers
Primary care is an approach to health care that emphasizes keeping people healthy, rather than merely treating illness. The approach applies to medical, oral and behavioral health. Access to primary health care is essential for overall good health.
In parts of Missouri, a shortage of primary health care providers makes it difficult for low-income, uninsured and geographically isolated Missourians to receive health care. By working with health care providers and communities, access to care can be improved for the underserved. Health care professionals willing to work in underserved areas may be eligible to receive incentives through the following state and federal programs:
Primary Care Resource Initiative for Missouri (PRIMO) is a multi-faceted approach to improve the availability and the delivery of health care services for all Missourians. PRIMO provides incentives to increase the number of primary medical, dental, behavioral and nutritional health care professionals. It also provides funding to build and equip clinics and other health care sites in areas of the state with a shortage of health care professionals. There are four components of PRIMO:
- Student Loan Program is a competitive state program that awards forgivable loans to students pursuing health care training that leads to Missouri licensure.
- Health Professional Loan Repayment was created to attract and retain licensed health professionals to serve in critical shortage areas. The program provides educational loan repayment to licensed primary care health professionals. In return for financial assistance, participants agree to serve at an approved site for a minimum of two years.
- Recruitment/Placement Services work with organizations to assist in recruitment and placement of
health professionals in underserved Missouri communities through several methods.
- Health Care Delivery Systems seek to improve the delivery of health care by working with statewide organizations, communities and academic institutions to create building and equipping clinics, treatment centers and other health care delivery centers that are economically sustainable.
The National Health Service Corps (NHSC) aids in the recruitment and retention of primary care medical, dental and mental health clinicians in underserved areas of the state. NHSC approved sites provide treatment on a sliding-fee scale, accept Medicare, Medicaid and the Children’s Health Insurance Program, and provide services regardless of patients’ ability to pay. The NHSC also provides scholarship opportunities to students in the health care field, providing tuition, fees, other education costs, and a stipend for living expenses to participants in exchange for future service in an area with a shortage of health care professionals. Corps Community Day is October 11, 2012. Help celebrate by getting involved.
The Health Professional Nursing Student Loan Program provides financial aid to students pursuing careers as licensed practical nurses or professional nurses in underserved areas of Missouri.
Federally Qualified Health Centers, known as FQHCs, provide primary care and serve as a medical home to thousands of Missourians. FQHCs are community-owned health care centers that provide affordable primary care and often on-site dental, pharmaceutical, behavioral health and substance abuse services. These centers provide care to all ages, regardless of their ability to pay. Payment for services is determined by a sliding fee scale which is based on the patients’ family income. Look at this map for locations of FQHCs, Rural Health Clinics, and hospitals.
Another avenue that addresses the health professional shortage is the J-1 Visa/State 30 Waiver Program. This federal program allows a foreign medical graduate to attend an advanced training program in the United States and waives the requirement for graduates to return to their native country. The physician’s waiver is granted in exchange for an obligation to work for three years in a Health Professional Shortage Area in Missouri.National Interest Waiver, or NIW, is a federal program that allows foreign-trained doctors, in exchange for a waiver, to work in medically underserved areas of the United States. This program is also governed by Missouri State Statute.