Reps. Bradley Schneider, D-Ill., Don Bacon, R-Neb., and Abby Finkenauer, D-Iowa, yesterday introduced a House companion (H.R. 2895) to the Conrad State 30 and Physician Access Act (S. 948), AHA-supported legislation that would improve and extend the Conrad State 30 program until 2021. First enacted in 1994, the program allows state health departments to request J-1 visa waivers for up to 30 foreign physicians per year to work in federally designated Health Professions Shortage Areas or Medically Underserved Areas. The House and Senate bills would increase the state allocations to 35 physicians per year and provide flexibility to further expand the number of waivers in states where the demand exceeds the limit, among other improvements. “The latest extension of the Conrad State 30 Program will expire later this year, which is why we urge action to extend this critical program,” AHA said. “Without timely reauthorization, patient access to care in the many communities that have benefited from these physicians may be threatened. We also support the program improvements contained in the Conrad State 30 and Physician Access Act as part of this extension and stand ready to work with you and your colleagues to move this legislation forward.”

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