New bill would help boost LTC workforce

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Long-term care providers are hoping that the U.S. Senate will pass a new bill aimed at enhancing recruitment and retention of direct care workers in the long-term care field. 

The Caring for an Aging America Act of 2008 would provide a number of incentives to attract healthcare workers to the long-term care field. Among them: loan repayment programs for physicians, psychologists, physician assistants, clinical nurse specialists, nurse practitioners and social workers who agree to work for two years in a long-term care setting. The bill also would expand the Career Ladder Grants Program to include specialty training in long-term care fields. Sen. Barbara Boxer (D-CA) introduced the bill earlier this month. 

The American Health Care Association and National Center for Assisted Living have offered their support to help pass the legislation.