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Washington, D.C. – U.S. Senator Mike Enzi, R-Wyo., recently announced that Washakie County doctors and health services will be getting help to provide better access and care for area residents.

Doctors in the county will soon be receiving a 10 percent increase in Medicare payments for services following the announcement from the Health Resources and Services Administration declaring Washakie County a health professional shortage area (HPSA). This payment increase also means better access to care for patients who depend on Medicare. The designation also makes Washakie County eligible to have doctors placed in the area through a National Health Service Corps doctor placement program.

"Providing rural health care is a challenge for many communities in Wyoming. Washakie County could use some help and I'm pleased we've been able to open a door for more resources to reach the area to help alleviate the problem and increase access to quality health care," said Enzi, who chairs the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee.

In order for a county to be declared a health professional shortage area, the Wyoming State Health Department must apply to the federal government for the classification and the Health Resources and Services Administration analyzes data and makes the determination.

National Health Service Corps doctors are individuals who have received scholarships or loan repayment in exchange for serving for a specified period of time in a health professional shortage area.