Wicker Fights Against Rural Physician Shortage

Miss. Senator Reintroduces SPARC Act

March 10, 2023

WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Roger Wicker, R-Miss., joined his colleague Senator Jacky Rosen, D-Nev., in reintroducing the bipartisan Specialty Physicians Advancing Rural Care (SPARC) Act. This legislation would help address the physician shortages in rural communities.

“The United States is facing a historic nationwide physician shortage, which has hit rural communities in Mississippi especially hard,” Wicker said. “The SPARC Act is designed to attract specialty providers to rural areas by offering incentives to medical professionals who choose to work in underserved areas. It is a simple idea that has the potential to make a major impact across the country.”

Among other provisions, the SPARC Act would allow specialty medicine physicians and non-physician specialty health care providers to earn support for education costs. Participants in the program would be obligated to serve in a rural area facing a shortage of specialty physicians.

The legislation would help to address a nationwide physician shortage in rural areas, which are historically medically underserved. Over half of the federally designated health professional shortage areas are located in these communities.