How Are States Working to Keep Providers in Medically Underserved Areas?
Maryland, Colorado, and Georgia are attempting to attract physician preceptors to medically underserved areas by offering tax incentives. Since preceptors are not always compensated, state officials have recognized that increasing the primary care workforce may require some innovative strategies.
Georgia led the way by offering a $1,000 tax credit for qualifying physicians to serve as preceptors for physician, physician assistant and nurse practitioner training. Colorado and Maryland were close behind passing the legislation this year. Other states have considered the measure but these three are the first to successfully pass legislation. Each state had slightly different goals with the incentive. Colorado aimed to correct an imbalance where physicians were practicing in their state, while Maryland sought to increase the number of preceptors from the current 150 to 250. Maryland physicians who serve as preceptors can receive a credit of $1,000 per student, up to a maximum of $10,000 annually. They must provide at least 12 weeks of clinical training to be eligible for the tax incentive.
The idea first took shape in Georgia when officials realized that they had an influx of medical students from outside Georgia. Their sponsors were paying preceptors $3,000 to $6,000, and few of the students who took those slots remained in the state to practice. The Georgia Statewide Area Health Education Network began seeking ways to support primary care in Georgia. In 2014, the state provided $883,000 worth of tax incentives. Physicians receive a $1,000 tax credit for every 160 hours of training they provide, up to a maximum credit of $10,000.
Denise Kornegay, executive director of the Georgia Statewide Area Health Education Network, states that though the tax credit can’t always match what other schools pay, “the program encourages physicians to support students at their alma mater and helps the state keep medical students from leaving.”
Byline: Martha L. Sikes, MS, RPh, PA-C
Posted: July 10, 2016
Source: American Academy of Family Physicians (AAFP)
Adapted from the original article.