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Washington Highlights

AAMC Joins Physicians and Hospitals in Letter to Congress

November 22, 2013—The AAMC joined 42 other hospital and physician groups in a Nov. 20 letter  urging members of Congress to oppose any cuts to Medicare Graduate Medical Education (GME) as they work to address the federal budget, Medicare physician payment reform, and sequestration.  The letter expresses provider concerns “that reductions in Medicare support for GME would worsen an already critical national physician workforce shortage and limit teaching hospitals’ ability to maintain vital lives saving services.”  The letter also cautions Congress that “Medicare GME cuts that jeopardize physician training and limit critical services are a step in the wrong direction.”

The letter goes on to warn of the impact GME cuts would have on patients, explaining that GME funding reductions “likely will exacerbate the physician shortage at a time when we have an estimated 10,000 Americans turning 65 each day and one in every three practicing physicians retiring by 2020,” and would “dramatically and rapidly increase shortages of primary care and specialist physicians that seniors (and others) rely upon.”  The providers further caution the likelihood that “cuts to Medicare GME will only jeopardize access to care nationwide, particularly for those who are already underserved.”

Finally, the letter acknowledges that Congress must “take action to ensure the long-term fiscal stability of our nation” specifically regarding the need to contain health care costs and reduce our national deficit, but insists that “threatening access to care for millions of current and future patients is not the answer.”  The letter rather suggests “ensuring access for Medicare beneficiaries requires long-term, rational physician payment reforms, as well as an adequate supply of physicians to care for an aging population.”


Len Marquez
Director, Government Relations
Telephone: 202-862-6281

Courtney Summers
Senior Legislative Analyst
Telephone: 202-862-6042


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Washington Highlights, a weekly electronic newsletter, features brief updates on the latest legislative and regulatory activities affecting medical schools and teaching hospitals.

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Jason Kleinman
Sr. Legislative Analyst, Govt. Relations
Telephone: 202-903-0806