by Chris Musillo

The November issue of Health Affairs includes a Reform Proposal co-authored by to researchers at the RAND Corporation, a post-doctoral fellow at the Vanderbilt University School of Nursing, and two faculty members at the Yale School of Heath.

The extensively researched article explains the substantial size of foreign-born healthcare workers in the United States. The Abstract to the article explains that the authors:

Review the distribution of these workers and their countries of origin, and we summarize the literature concerning their contributions to US health care. We also report on these workersexperiences in the United States and the impact their migration has on their home countries.

Finally, we present policy strategies to increase the benefits of health care worker migration to the United States while mitigating its negative effects on the workershome countries.

The authors' strategies include:

attracting more people with legal permanent residency status into the health workforce, reimbursing home countries for the cost of educating health workers who subsequently migrate to the United States, improving policies to facilitate the entry of direct care workers into the country, advancing efforts to promote and monitor ethical migration and recruitment practices, and encouraging the implementation of programs by US employers to improve the experience of immigrating health workers.

The article is a must-read for those who are serious about attending to US health care worker supply shortages.

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