Broadlawns Hosted DOCTORS ACT Roundtable with special guest Senator Joni Ernst

NEWS RELEASE (August 11th, 2023) – Broadlawns Medical Center hosted a DOCTORS Act roundtable on Friday, August 11, 2023 at 9 a.m. in the Jody Jenner Conference Room at Medical Plaza, 1761 Hickman Road, Des Moines.

The Honorable Senator Joni Ernst engaged in a roundtable discussion with key physicians from Iowa healthcare organizations, including Broadlawns, UnityPoint, MercyOne, and the Iowa Hospital Association, on the DOCTORS Act. The new effort aims to address the physician shortage that healthcare facilities throughout Iowa are experiencing and expands on the existing Conrad 30 waiver program, which addresses the shortage of qualified doctors in underserved areas.

“I’m working to ensure all Iowans, particularly those in our most rural communities, have access to high-quality health care,” said The Honorable Senator Joni Ernst. “My DOCTORS Act expands opportunities to recruit doctors and healthcare professionals by developing a pipeline for more specialty providers to practice in our state. These physicians will provide critical medical services in rural areas currently suffering from staffing shortages, so Iowans can receive the care they deserve.”

Under the existing Conrad 30 program, each state is given 30 waiver slots to allow nondomestic physicians who attended medical school in the U.S. to remain here on a three-year visa in exchange for their commitment to work in a health professional shortage area. Iowa historically uses the maximum 30 slots each year and would see a significant benefit for both patients and burnt-out providers by supporting an increase to the availability of specialty providers. Ernst’s Directing Our Country’s Transfer of Residency Slots (DOCTORS) Act reallocates unused waiver slots to states that used all thirty waivers in the previous year to increase access to health care for rural Iowans.

“Maintaining a sustainable pipeline of physicians to serve the increasing medical needs of Iowans is paramount,” said Broadlawns Medical Center President and CEO Dr. Anthony Coleman. “Broadlawns Medical Center is grateful for the support of Senator Ernst in reauthorizing the DOCTORS Act to ensure this occurs."

The Broadlawns Medical Center is supportive of the DOCTORS Act and helping further address the physician shortage in healthcare facilities throughout Iowa. Additional legislative priorities include the reimbursement of 340B Hospitals for prior years with appropriate pricing moving forward, solution to the reduction in the Medicaid Disproportionate Share Hospital (DSH) funding in 2023 by $8 billion, realizing an accurate Good Faith Estimate for administrative needs contrary to the No Suprises Act, the revision of USDA rules to remove the State’s requirements and allow for families to purchase special supplemental nutrition that has been FDA-approved and meets WIC guidelines.