The AAMC joined 84 other members of the Graduate Medical Education (GME) Advocacy Coalition on Jan. 27 in letters thanking Congress for their work to expand Medicare-supported GME in the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2021 (P.L. 116-260) [see Washington Highlights, Dec. 23, 2020].
The letter noted that Medicare support for GME had been effectively frozen since 1997 and that the worsening physician shortage and COVID-19 pandemic have “put more pressure on the physician workforce as physicians and providers have mobilized across the country to respond to this public health emergency.” The letter also stated that the new positions provided by the legislation would “alleviate some of the pressure [teaching hospitals] have been facing and allow them to increase training.”
The legislation included 1,000 new Medicare-supported GME positions, which would be distributed with priority given to teaching hospitals in rural areas, hospitals training residents over their cap, hospitals in states with new medical schools, and hospitals that care for underserved communities.
“We look forward to working with you in the future to ensure that communities across the country have access to the physicians they need,” the letter concluded.