Major Healthcare Initiatives Get Presidential Push

Major Healthcare Initiatives Get Presidential Push

Last week the Biden-Harris Administration submitted their budget proposal for the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) for the 2025 fiscal year, which outlines several key investments to tackle their top healthcare initiatives. These include the following:

  • Youth Mental Health Crisis: There have been several disturbing trends emerge in the area of youth mental health, with nearly one-third of youths reporting experiences with poor mental health and 1 in 5 students reporting seriously considering suicide. The budget focuses on expanding access to mental health and substance use disorder treatment. Investments include training 12,000 new behavioral health providers, creating a peer-to-peer mental health support program for youths, supporting mental health training for pediatricians, and integrating mental health services into community health centers.
  • Maternity Care Deserts: To address the lack of maternity care services in certain areas, the budget invests in building obstetric capacity in underserved areas, training more labor and delivery nurses and certified nurse midwives, establishing a community-based doula workforce, and expanding access to maternal mental health support through the National Maternal Mental Health Hotline at 1-833-TLC-MAMA.
  • Closing Gaps in Access to Primary Care: The Administration has indicated that it recognizes the barriers to accessing primary care, such as lack of providers, lack of access to transportation, and limited availability in appointment times and provider hours; this is only exacerbated in rural and underserved communities. The budget aims to double the federal investment in community health centers, expand health center street medicine services for the homeless, and extend health center operating hours.
  • Meeting Opioid Treatment and Recovery Needs: Given the challenges in rural communities regarding opioid use disorder treatment, the budget focuses on creating more access to treatment, supporting mobile units for medication-assisted treatment, integrating support services, and expanding the rural substance use disorder workforce.
  • Growing the Healthcare Workforce: Addressing projected shortages in healthcare occupations, the budget provides scholarships and loan repayment programs to over 24,000 clinicians, nurses, and healthcare professionals to provide services in underserved areas. The budget will also be supporting more than 1,800 medical and dental residents to work and train in rural communities, and funds new approaches to recruit and diversify the healthcare workforce.
  • Transforming the Organ Matching System: To enhance the organ procurement and transplantation system, the budget doubles funding for the system, aims to increase competition, and supports updates to improve performance and innovation.

Overall, these investments align with the Administration’s goals of improving healthcare access, addressing mental health challenges, and ensuring equitable care for all Americans.

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Tiffany Ferguson, LMSW, CMAC, ACM

Tiffany Ferguson is CEO of Phoenix Medical Management, Inc., the care management company. Tiffany serves on the ACPA Observation Subcommittee. Tiffany is a contributor to RACmonitor, Case Management Monthly, and commentator for Finally Friday. After practicing as a hospital social worker, she went on to serve as Director of Case Management and quickly assumed responsibilities in system level leadership roles for Health and Care Management and c-level responsibility for a large employed medical group. Tiffany received her MSW at UCLA. She is a licensed social worker, ACM, and CMAC certified.

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