Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) has introduced a bill that would expand access to primary care through workforce initiatives, enhanced reimbursements and increased accountability for Graduate Medical Education (GME) funds.
Provisions of the bill that would benefit community health centers, encompassing those that offer dental services, include:
- Creation of a mandatory appropriation of $4.9 billion through FY20 for the National Health Services Corps;
- Creation of a mandatory appropriation of $25 billion for Federally Qualified Health Centers during FY16-FY20; and
- Expansion of the Teaching Health Center Graduate Medical Education (THCGME) program, which funds both medical and dental residencies in community-based ambulatory care settings, at $800 million through FY20.
The bill would also require hospitals receiving federal funds for residency programs to report information to increase transparency of and accountability for GME funds.