On Thursday, June 7, 2012 Deborah Briggs testified before the Senate Health, Human Services and Senior Citizens Committee. After thanking Committee Chair Senator Joseph Vitale, and Vice Chair Senator Fred Madden for the opportunity to provide testimony in support of the S-1336 and S-2002, she commended Senators Beck, Vitale, Singer, and Rice for their strong leadership on this important issue.
The legislation, S-1336 would require the Department of Health and Senior Services (DHSS) to coordinate physician workforce data. S-2002 would require physicians to complete a survey as a condition for biennial registration with the Board of Medical Examiners (BME) and requires the BME to maintain and disseminate survey data as appropriate.
Ms. Briggs outlined her familiarity with existing data and her robust history with regard to advocating for improving the available data. Ms. Briggs asserted that the need for the BME to collect Scope of Practice data would assist the state in identifying Health Professional Shortage Areas (HPSA) and Medically Underserved Populations (MUPs) to qualify for additional federal loan repayment funding and J1-Visa slots.
The bills which were merged to address the BME re-licensure survey only; passed in Committee and will go to the full Senate for a vote.
The Committee members were given additional materials that overviewed what programs other states have put in place to address their physician shortage. She indicated the Council was looking forward to working with the Senate on new retention and recruitment programs to improve New Jersey’s poor retention rates.
Read the testimony via the following link: