California Offers Student Debt Relief for Doctors and Dentists Serving Medicaid Patients (NY Times, LA Times, Sacramento Bee)

California is providing debt relief for doctors and dentists who agree to accept Medi-Cal. The grant has lifted “an emotional burden,” one recipient said in The New York Times, adding, “I can focus on my patients.”

Healthforce faculty member Janet Coffman was cited in the New York Times article: 

Five Ways to Cure California’s Doctor Shortage (CHCF)

Source: California Health Care Foundation

We know that primary care is essential for good health, but access to primary care in California varies greatly, with large swaths of the state competing for attention from increasingly fewer doctors. The primary care shortage is complex, rooted in decisions that future doctors make long before they attend medical school, the cost of their education, where they choose to live, and the financial lure of specialty practice.

First, a few facts:

California: A Health Care Laboratory With Mixed Results (California Healthline)

(source: California Healthline)

California’s expansion of Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act enabled many low-income HIV patients to get health insurance previously denied to them. Still, those with mental health needs, who had been receiving coordinated care through a separate federal program, suddenly faced gaps in treatment, payment disputes and doctors who had little understanding of life with HIV.

New Southern California Medical School To Tackle Doctor Shortages

by Anna Gorman

(SOURCE: California Healthline)

The Claremont Colleges plans to open a medical school, the fourth new campus designed to produce physicians for parts of Southern California struggling with shortages.