The AAMC sent a March 20 letter to the Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions (HELP) Committee in response to a request for information (RFI) on health workforce shortages and potential solutions by Chair Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) and Ranking Member Bill Cassidy, MD, (R-La.). The RFI noted, “This year, we intend to identify bipartisan solutions to remedy our nation’s health care workforce shortages and develop these ideas into legislation.”
The AAMC letter stated, “In a collaborative manner with public and private cooperation, academic medicine is committed to working to address the challenges of physician and other health professions workforce shortages, and without a doubt, we have collectively made significant investments in these areas. At the same time, the AAMC believes there must be an increase in the federal government investments for federal programs that have demonstrated results and impact.”
The AAMC outlined several recommendations for potential legislative solutions, including:
Addressing the AAMC physician workforce shortage projections by expanding federal support for graduate medical education;
Supporting scholarship and loan repayment to encourage public service and improve pathways to careers in medicine, including retaining Public Service Loan Forgiveness and expanding the National Health Services Corps;
Shaping the health workforce through recruitment, education, and training by investing in proven Health Resources and Services Administration Title VII workforce programs and expanding medical schools at Minority Servicing Institutions, historically Black colleges and universities, and in underserved communities;
Enhancing immigration-related policies to bolster health care workforce including Conrad 30 and reduction of green card backlogs; and
Examining and addressing the unique financial challenges of teaching hospitals and health systems.
The RFI followed a Feb. 16 HELP hearing, titled “Examining Health Care Workforce Shortages: Where Do We Go From Here?” [refer to Washington Highlights, Feb. 17], which touched on several of the same potential solutions as the AAMC letter. The association submitted a similar statement for the record at that hearing.