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Bipartisan Budget Act Would Mean Much-Needed Investment in Research, Training

AAMC Warns of Consequences of Cuts to Patient Care

Washington, D.C., October 30, 2015AAMC (Association of American Medical Colleges) President and CEO Darrell G. Kirch, MD, issued the following statement in response to passage of the Bipartisan Budget Act of 2015:

“America’s medical schools and teaching hospitals commend lawmakers for raising the discretionary spending caps through the Bipartisan Budget Act of 2015. This will help restore order to the federal budget and appropriations process, and allow for some much-needed investment in our nation’s eroding domestic priorities, especially medical research and physician workforce training.

This measure will allow Congress to fully fund national priorities such as medical research supported by the National Institutes of Health (NIH), health services research supported by the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ), and physician training through the Children’s Hospitals Graduate Medical Education program and the Title VII health professions programs. We urge Congress to continue this momentum with a final FY 2016 spending package that prioritizes these key investments to enable medical schools and teaching hospitals to continue improving care for patients nationwide.    

At the same time, however, we are concerned about several provisions in the bill that will negatively impact teaching hospitals and the patients we serve. We are disappointed that Congress has decided to once again extend the 2 percent sequestration of Medicare payments to offset increased spending in other areas. Most troubling is a policy that would change reimbursement for hospital outpatient departments. This change could limit the ability of teaching hospitals to provide access to care for all patients in their communities. We are working with lawmakers to address the unintended consequences of this provision.”

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The Association of American Medical Colleges is a not-for-profit association dedicated to transforming health care through innovative medical education, cutting-edge patient care, and groundbreaking medical research. Its members comprise all 147 accredited U.S. and 17 accredited Canadian medical schools; nearly 400 major teaching hospitals and health systems, including 51 Department of Veterans Affairs medical centers; and more than 80 academic societies. Through these institutions and organizations, the AAMC serves the leaders of America’s medical schools and teaching hospitals and their nearly 160,000 faculty members, 83,000 medical students, and 115,000 resident physicians. Additional information about the AAMC and its member medical schools and teaching hospitals is available at www.aamc.org.

Contact

Susan Beach   
202-828-0983
sbeach@aamc.org