Medical and nursing employment demand will increase in all medical sectors, including private physician offices, home health care services, nursing care facilities and hospitals, by 2018; The U.S. Department of Labor estimates that the demand for registered nurses alone will increase by 22 percent. As an incentive to increase staff in the health-care field, federal and state agencies are offering government grants to encourage nurse staffing. Nurse staffing agencies benefit from these grants by defraying their business and recruiting costs.
Medicare and Medicaid EHR Incentives
Private nurse staffing requires staffing agencies to update and maintain patient medical records. This is especially true for nurse staffing agencies that provide private nursing care, nurse practitioner services and nurse-midwives. These types of private nurse staffing agencies may qualify for the Medicare and Medicaid’s electronic health records incentive programs when installing new electronic health-care record systems. The Medicare EHR Incentive Program provides grant incentives up to $44,000 to cover the cost of conversion or installation, while Medicaid provides EHR incentives up to $63,750.
HUD Community Initiatives
Nurse staffing agencies locating their offices within Housing and Urban Development Empowerment Zones or HUD Renewal Communities may obtain grant tax incentives. HUD tax incentive grants help bring business back to distressed communities. Nurse staffing agencies benefit because they can receive tax incentives such as employment payroll credits, capital-gains tax decreases, preferred tax deductions on real estate taxes, and accelerated tax deprecations on such things as real estate purchases.
State Work Force Training Grants
Staffing agencies often lose nurses due to the costs associated with state-required medical training and licensing. Nursing agencies can help their nursing staff subsidized these cost by providing in house training and financing it through state and federally funded Work Force Training Grants. Staffing agencies benefit from these programs with a well-trained work force, and the grant program provides direct reimbursements for the cost of medical training. Work Force Training Grant programs vary depending upon state funding, and applications are taken through each state's department of economic development.
Health IT Workforce Development Program
Workforce development is an important factor in operating a nurse-staffing agency. Continued health care training is a common state requirement for health care employee license renewal. For example, Texas requires nurses to obtain 20 hours of continuing education. Staffing agencies can use Health IT Workforce Development Program grants to host curriculum development centers and license examination programs. Applications and other training grants for health-care education development are available through the Office of the National Coordinator.