Saturday, July 13, 2024

Healthcare Boosted with $200 Million Investment by Biden-Harris Administration to Enhance Primary Care for Older Adults

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Healthcare for older Americans, including those with Alzheimer’s disease and related dementias, will see significant improvements as the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), through the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA), announces an investment of over $200 million to support 42 programs nationwide.

This initiative is part of HRSA’s Geriatrics Workforce Enhancement Program, which focuses on training primary care physicians, nurse practitioners, and other healthcare clinicians to provide age-friendly and dementia-friendly care. The program also aims to equip families and caregivers with the necessary knowledge and skills to support their loved ones effectively.

Healthcare for Older Adults a Top Priority for Biden-Harris Administration, Says HHS Secretary Becerra

HHS Secretary Xavier Becerra emphasized the Biden-Harris Administration’s commitment to addressing the healthcare needs of older adults. “For the Biden-Harris Administration, meeting the healthcare needs of older adults is a top priority,” Becerra stated. “That’s why we are helping to build the healthcare workforce needed to care for our friends and family members as they age. The Biden-Harris Administration will continue to support the caregivers and family members who are essential to the well-being of older adults.”

The workforce initiative integrates geriatric training into primary care, ensuring that healthcare providers are prepared to identify and address the needs of older patients. Primary care providers, often the usual source of care for many older individuals, must have the capacity to respond to their patients’ evolving needs as they age. Grantees of the program will also engage with the community to help family members and caregivers understand the changing needs of those they support.

“Among the most trusted people in the lives of older adults are their family members and their caregivers, including their primary care provider,” said HRSA Administrator Carole Johnson. “At the Health Resources and Services Administration, we are committed to supporting the clinicians that older patients trust to care for them as they age, especially those with Alzheimer’s disease and related dementias.”

This announcement supports HHS Secretary Xavier Becerra’s Health Workforce Initiative, which aims to support, strengthen, and grow the healthcare workforce. This initiative includes a coordinated Department-wide effort to identify opportunities for improving health workforce recruitment, retention, and career advancement.


Healthcare Workforce Development Aligned with National Alzheimer’s Plan to Enhance Dementia Care

It also aims to elevate workforce programs and activities across the Department, engage with stakeholders, and identify opportunities to further advance federal efforts to support the workforce. Additionally, it aligns with the National Plan to Address Alzheimer’s Disease by building a workforce with the skills to provide high-quality care to people with dementia, thus better supporting the more than six million Americans currently living with Alzheimer’s disease and their caregivers.

The Geriatrics Workforce Enhancement Program will train primary care providers, including physicians, nurse practitioners, and other healthcare clinicians, in providing age-friendly and dementia-friendly care. This training is crucial as these providers are often the first point of contact for older adults and must be equipped to manage their specific health needs effectively. By enhancing the skills of primary care providers, the program ensures that older adults receive the comprehensive and specialized care they require as they age.

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In addition to training healthcare clinicians, the program will focus on educating families and caregivers, providing them with the tools and knowledge necessary to support their loved ones. This support is vital as caregivers play a crucial role in the daily lives of older adults, especially those with dementia. The program aims to empower caregivers with the skills needed to handle the challenges of caring for individuals with complex health conditions, thereby improving the overall quality of life for both patients and caregivers.

The initiative is also part of a broader effort to develop the healthcare workforce to meet the growing demand for geriatric care. This includes improving recruitment and retention strategies and providing career advancement opportunities for healthcare workers. A significant focus of the program is on improving care for those with Alzheimer’s disease and related dementias. By training healthcare providers and supporting caregivers, the program aims to enhance the quality of life for individuals with these conditions. Additionally, the initiative supports the National Plan to Address Alzheimer’s Disease by building a skilled workforce capable of providing high-quality care to people with dementia, aligning with national strategies to support the millions of Americans affected by Alzheimer’s.

Overall, this $200 million investment by the Biden-Harris Administration represents a significant commitment to improving the healthcare of older adults. By enhancing the skills of primary care providers and supporting caregivers, this initiative aims to ensure that older Americans receive the high-quality, compassionate care they deserve.


Resource: Health and Human Services, July 01, 2024

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