H.R. 315 requires the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) to collect data to better place maternity health care professionals in existing primary care health professional shortage areas. Currently, maternity health care professionals can participate in the National Health Service Corps (NHSC) but they are not always placed where they are most needed. The bill will help better place maternity health care professionals in areas with the greatest need for their services. The National Health Service Corps (NHSC) places health care professionals who participate in their Loan Repayment Program, which requires a two-year commitment, in areas where HRSA finds health professional shortages. H.R. 315 is designed to more effectively allocate maternity health care providers who already participate in the NHSC Loan Repayment Program, in areas with higher need of maternity health care. The bill does not change or expand participation in the NHSC.
The summary below was written by the Congressional Research Service, which is a nonpartisan division of the Library of Congress, and was published on Dec 18, 2018.
Improving Access to Maternity Care Act
(Sec. 2) This bill amends the Public Health Service Act to require the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) to identify maternity care health professional target areas, which are areas within health professional shortage areas that have a shortage of maternity care health professionals, for purposes of assigning maternity care health professionals to those areas.
HRSA must collect and publish data comparing the availability of and need for maternity care health services in health professional shortage areas and areas within those areas.