The AAMC sent a letter to congressional leadership on Nov. 4 outlining academic medicine’s policy priorities for year-end legislation.
The letter urged Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.), House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.), Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.), and House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) to complete work on fiscal year (FY) 2023 appropriations as quickly as possible. The AAMC also recommended that Congress provide at least $47.5 billion for the National Institutes of Health, increased funding for the Health Resources and Services Administration Title VII and Title VIII programs, a one-time $200 million mandatory appropriation for Children’s Hospitals Graduate Medical Education, and an overall robust allocation for FY 2023 Labor, Health and Human Services, Education, and Related Agencies spending bill.
The AAMC also supported the president’s request for emergency supplemental funding for the nation’s COVID-19 and monkeypox responses to “ensure adequate supplies of vaccines, treatments, and tests; the continuation of ongoing clinical trials for new countermeasures; and bolstering preparedness against future global infectious diseases.”
Also highlighted in the letter was the association’s recommendation to provide strategic investments in the physician and health care workforce, including additional Medicare-supported GME positions, and the proposed Pathway to Practice Program. The letter expressed support for both the Resident Physician Shortage Reduction Act of 2021 (S. 834 / H.R. 2256) and the Senate Finance Committee’s proposed increase in GME positions in their bipartisan “Enhancing the Mental Health Workforce” discussion draft.
The AAMC also recommended the following:
- Attend to mental and behavioral health challenges by addressing workforce shortages and barriers to patient access to mental and behavioral health care.
- Address pending Medicare cuts scheduled to take place in 2023 due to Statutory Pay-As-You-Go (PAYGO) sequester and the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services’ calendar year 2023 Medicare Physician Fee Schedule Rule.
- Extend critical telehealth and Acute Hospital Care at Home Public Health Emergency waivers.
- Protect patient access to laboratory developed tests.
- Protect health care workers from intimidation, physical attacks, and threats of violence by enacting protections under federal law for health care workers.
- Improve and streamline prior authorization practices in the Medicare Advantage program.
Federal government funding expires on Dec. 16 unless Congress acts.