New bill seeks to bolster LTC workforce with grants, awards program

Share this content:

Legislation introduced in the House last week will aim to shore up the nation's long-term care workforce with increased investment in training and a focus on caregivers in rural areas.

H.R. 3713, known as the Geriatrics Workforce and Caregiver Enhancement Act, was introduced Friday by Reps. Jan Schakowsky (D-IL) and Doris Matsui (D-CA). The bill would make amendments to the Public Health Services Act to boost training and education on geriatric care in order to remedy the worker shortage.

It would also encourage interdisciplinary team-based care, and improve the quality care delivered to seniors, according to its text.

The legislation would also revive the Geriatric Academic Career Awards, which would offer grants to promote geriatric education, especially in rural or underserved populations.

In a joint statement Schakowsky and Matsui cited how the need for an additional 3.5 million healthcare workers by 2030 to take care of seniors was a driver behind their bill.

“This means that unless we act now, seniors, especially those with multiple chronic conditions and cognitive impairments, may not receive the quality of care they need,” the statement reads. “We must invest in the wellbeing of our nation's seniors — and this bill will do just that.”