Millions for Idaho to Put More Family Doctors in Communities

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The Affordable Care Act, aka health-care reform, will pump more than $3 million into Idaho to help expand the workforce of primary caregivers, with emphasis on rural communities.

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services announced the grants with nearly $2 million earmarked for the Family Medicine Residency of Idaho. Residency Program Director and CEO Dr. Ted Epperly told Citydesk that the funds will put more family doctors on the front lines of care.

"By the time the major portions of the Affordable Care Act go into effect in 2014, we'll need to have more primary care physicians available. We'll need to be providing more preventive care," said Epperly. "Right now, in our practice we know of a lot of people who are living paycheck to paycheck and they won't come in for basic checkups or preventive care because the co-pay or deductible is too high. They're living sicker and they're dying younger."

The residency operates three separate tracks in Idaho, a core program in Boise, and rural training tracks in Caldwell and Twin Falls. The new grant moneys will allow the Caldwell program to grow by a third and will result in doubling the Twin Falls program.

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