Hospital Leaders Urge Congress to Adequately Fund Graduate Education
Chicago, IL - Hospital leaders briefed congressional staff on the important role that Medicare’s support for graduate medical education (GME) plays in helping teaching hospitals train the next generation of health care providers and urged Congress to provide adequate funding to support these efforts.
The AHA-sponsored briefing included remarks by Rep. Joseph Crowley, D-N.Y. co-sponsor with Rep. Charles Boustany, R-La., of the AHA-backed Resident Physician Shortage Reduction Act, H.R. 2124, which would increase by 15,000 over five years the number of available physician resident slots at teaching hospitals.
The 1997 Balanced Budget Act froze residency positions at the 1996 level effectively limiting the supply of physicians.
Jeffrey Berns, M.D., professor of medicine at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania; Joshua Goldstein, Northwestern University School of Medicine’s associate dean for medical education; and Andrew Thomas, M.D., chief medical officer at Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center, described how adequate GME funding helps offset the cost of training future physicians and providing uncompensated care in disadvantaged communities.
The AHA also released a report describing how teaching hospitals reach millions of people with lifesaving treatments and shape the future of medicine through research on new procedures, technology, treatments and medication.
“Policymakers must ensure that payment or policy changes to GME do not upend a world-class graduate medical education system and a financing mechanism that has achieved the longstanding goal of supporting hospitals in the mission of training physicians,” the report concludes.
Source: American Hospital Association
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