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Healthcare in the Valley

I’m working with my colleagues across the aisle and across the Capitol to author and pass milestone pieces of legislation that will improve our broken healthcare system. In the Central Valley, we have seen coverage expand, yet unfortunately, we don’t have enough doctors to meet our growing healthcare needs. We have had a doctor shortage for years. Our current doctors are unable to care for the growing Medi-Cal community, leading to a lack of access. Over the past few months, I’ve met with many working in our hospitals, health centers and doctors offices to see what’s working and what’s not. I’m committed to engaging in meaningful dialogue with you as I continue to seek solutions.

WHAT I’M WORKING ON

Many of our best and brightest doctors live and operate in big cities and highly populated areas. One of the reasons for this is because these areas are where most Graduate Medical Education (residency programs) are located. Since a physician will spend several years in residency, most physicians tend to stay and practice in the cities where they fulfill their residency, creating a shortage of physicians in rural areas. Additionally, doctors typically get reimbursed less for services to Medicaid patients compared to patients with other insurance. This creates a disincentive for physicians to perform services in areas that have a high-Medicaid population, such as the Central Valley.

Take a look at legislation I’m working on to improve care for the Central Valley:

Ensuring equitable coverage:

One of my proposals would allow the Center for Medicare & Medicaid Innovation to field-test the best methods for reimbursing physicians operating in rural or medically underserved areas. This will help areas like ours be able to attract and retain both primary care providers and specialists to serve the growing Medicaid community.

Read my discussion draft HERE.

Incentivizing care providers:

The Central Valley has experienced a doctor shortage for too long, which has strained the provision of services and care to the detriment of our families. My proposal would expand and extend medical residency (GME) programs to more physicians in high-Medicaid areas, in hopes they will stay in these areas upon completion of residency.

Read my discussion draft HERE.

Please note these are early draft versions subject to change. I am still working to ensure these provisions accurately address the needs of rural and medically underserved areas across the United States, including the Central Valley. I will update this page as I continue to make progress on this legislation.

Additional Healthcare Resources


    Check back for more information as it becomes available. If you need assistance with a federal agency, or if you have a comment or question about healthcare issues, please contact me any time.