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Learn about policy issues important to medical schools and teaching hospitals, with Executive Vice President Atul Grover, M.D., Ph.D.

Washington Highlights

AAMC and VA Leadership Highlight Partnerships in Briefing on Physician Shortages

July 18, 2014—Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) Interim Under Secretary for Health Carolyn Clancy, M.D., joined AAMC leadership at a July 17 congressional briefing titled, “Addressing VA Physician Shortages: The Link Between VA & Medicare GME and Other Challenges to Expanding Access.”

In conjunction with the briefing, AAMC President and CEO Darrell G. Kirch, M.D., released a statement, indicating that “[t]oday’s briefing laid out important information for members of the congressional conference committee considering legislation to alleviate delays experienced by veterans seeking care at the VA.”

At the briefing, Dr. Clancy discussed the historic 70-year partnership between the VA and academic affiliates.  She stated that today, 127 VA facilities have affiliation agreements for physician training with 130 of the AAMC’s 141 member medical schools.

AAMC Chief Academic Officer John Prescott, M.D., announced that 161 AAMC-member medical schools and teaching hospitals have indicated that they have capacity to help the VA reduce its patient backlogs. He noted that this offer of assistance builds on work AAMC and its members are already doing to increase awareness of military cultural competency through the Joining Forces initiative.

Dr. Prescott also outlined AAMC's recommendations, including expedited contracting with non-VA facilities, timely reimbursement for care, and expanded VA and Medicare graduate medical education (GME). Dr. Kirch sent a July 11 letter to congressional conferees with the same recommendations [see Washington Highlights, July 11].

AAMC Chief Public Policy Officer Atul Grover, M.D., Ph.D., described VA physician shortages (in both primary care and specialties) in the context of nationwide workforce shortages that are a result of the cap on Medicare’s support for GME. He highlighted the connection between VA GME and Medicare GME, and the necessity to increase federal funding for both.

Patrick Brunett, M.D., associate dean for graduate medical education and clinical professor, Department of Emergency Medicine, Oregon Health & Science University, presented on OHSU’s affiliation with the Portland VA Medical Center and challenges to expanding VA GME independently.

Additional information about the AAMC’s work with the VA is available on the association’s initiative website.

Contact:

Matthew Shick, JD
Director, Gov't Relations & Regulatory Affairs
Telephone: 202-862-6116
Email: mshick@aamc.org

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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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For More Information

Jason Kleinman
Sr. Legislative Analyst, Govt. Relations
Telephone: 202-903-0806
Email: jkleinman@aamc.org