Health Care Programs Get Federal Funding Boost

Feb 11, 2014, 9:00 AM

Federal health care workforce and research programs will receive modest funding boosts in this fiscal year under a new omnibus spending bill cleared in January by Congress, according to a summary released by the American Association of Colleges of Nursing (AACN). The programs affect nursing and other health professions.

Under the Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2014, signed into law on Jan. 17, two health care workforce agencies are slated for increases in fiscal year 2014.

The Health Resources and Services Administration will receive $6.3 billion, an 8 percent increase over the last fiscal year, and the Bureau of Health Professions will get $469.2 million, a 7 percent increase, according to AACN. Nursing workforce development programs under Title VIII of the Public Health Service Act will get $223.8 million in fiscal year 2014, a 3 percent increase.

Health care research programs will also see growth in this fiscal year, according to AACN. The National Institutes of Health will receive $29.9 billion, a 3.5 percent increase over last year; the National Institute of Nursing Research will get $140.5 million, a 3 percent increase; and the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality will get $471 million, a 10 percent jump over last year. That amount includes an anticipated $100 million in additional funding from the Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Trust Fund.

“AACN is optimistic that the bipartisan nature from which this bill was developed will translate to future thoughtful dialogues on how to maximize federal dollars in a challenging fiscal climate,” said Suzanne Miyamoto, PhD, RN, director of government affairs and health policy at AACN. “The increase to critical nursing, research, and health care programs is an indication that there is appetite for these discussions and an understanding of the vital role the programs play in promoting our nation’s health.” 

This commentary originally appeared on the RWJF Human Capital Blog. The views and opinions expressed here are those of the authors.