The Role of States in Health Workforce Development
Now is a critical time for states to consider their role in developing the health care wokforce, particularly primary care providers. The rapid changes in our health care system, especially the extraordinary growth of managed care in general and Medicaid managed care in particular, are having a dramatic effect on our health workforce needs and on the role of states.
Managed care organizations have an increasing responsibility to assure the availability of providers to meet the needs of Medicaid recipients, state employees, and rural residents. However, states themselves have clear incentives to maintain, if not increase, their involvement in health workforce development. The primary reason for state involvement is that the marketplace alone is unlikely to produce primary care providers willing to serve rural and underserved populations. State funding and regulatory intervention are therefore needed to achieve this result.