State Incentive Programs That Encourage Allied Health Professionals to Provide Care for Rural and Underserved Populations

Authors: Malaika Schwartz, MPH | Davis Patterson, PhD | Rachelle McCarty, ND, MPH

Topics: Allied Health, Rural Health, Staffing

Research Center: University of Washington Center for Health Workforce Studies

December 17, 2019

Difficulties in recruiting allied health professionals to rural and underserved areas are cause for concern given projections of increasing demand for numerous allied health occupations. Incentive programs are a common strategy to address health professional shortages.

This report describes allied health incentive programs at the state level—their goals, policies, practices, and available data on their success in allied health professional recruitment and retention to rural and underserved areas—as described during 30 semi-structured phone interviews with key informants from 27 states and information found online. Interviews explored program goals, eligible professions, incentives offered, service obligations, facilitators and barriers to recruitment and retention, importance of incentive programs as a means of addressing allied health professional shortages, and program success.

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University of Washington Center for Health Workforce Studies