The Graduate Medical Education (GME) Advocacy Coalition sent letters of support for the Resident Physician Shortage Reduction Act of 2021 to sponsors of the legislation in both the Senate and the House of Representatives. The letters thanked Sens. Bob Menendez (D-N.J.) and John Boozman (R-Ark.) and Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) for introducing the Senate bill and Reps. Terri Sewell (D-Ala.), John Katko (R-N.Y.), Tom Suozzi (D-N.Y.), and Rodney Davis (R-Ill.) for introducing the House bill.
The letters emphasized the growing need for more physicians, particularly as the population continues to grow and age. The groups also noted that “the COVID-19 pandemic has further exposed the significant barriers to care that patients face, and has also highlighted rising concerns of clinician burnout.”
The groups also highlighted Congress’ recent authorization of 1,000 new Medicare-supported GME positions [see Washington Highlights, Dec. 23, 2020]. They noted that the legislation “would build on this historic investment by gradually raising the number of Medicare-supported GME positions by 2,000 per year for seven years, for a total of 14,000 new slots,” and that some of the positions would be targeted to “hospitals with diverse needs including hospitals in rural areas, hospitals serving patients from health professional shortage areas (HPSAs), hospitals in states with new medical schools or branch campuses, and hospitals already training over their caps.”
“We look forward to working together to support the training of future physicians and to secure the passage of this important legislation,” the letters concluded.