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  • Washington Highlights

    VA Announces Phase II of Choice Act GME Expansion

    Matthew Shick, Sr. Director, Gov't Relations & Regulatory Affairs

    The Veterans Affairs (VA) Office of Academic Affiliations (OAA) June 15 published a Request for Proposals (RFP) for “physician resident positions (GME) allocated under the criteria of the Veterans Access, Choice and Accountability Act of 2014” (P.L. 113-146). The VA GME expansion under the RFP “will include allocation of up to 325 permanent, base positions nationwide in [academic year] 2016-2017.” Final applications are due Aug. 15 using an online submission process.

    Eligible VA medical facilities must “have an active affiliation with an accredited sponsoring institution(s) in good standing, a suitable curriculum, and an appropriate educational infrastructure.” Veterans Health Administration (VHA) Interim Under Secretary for Health Carolyn Clancy, M.D., sent a May 21 memorandum to VA medical center leadership urging increased collaboration with academic affiliates.

    Phase I of the current GME expansion initiative awarded 204 new, permanent residency positions to VA medical centers across the county. According to the RFP, 61 facilities in 36 states received positions in the first year of the initiative. OAA’s mandated goal is to increase residency positions at VA medical centers by up to 1,500 positions over five years.

    The multifaceted Veterans Choice Act was enacted in 2014 to help address VA patient care backlogs in part by authorizing the VHA to hire and train more physicians and expanding veterans’ access to care at non-VA facilities.