U.S. Senate HELP Committee Approves Measure to Preserve Pediatric Training
The U.S. Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions (HELP) Committee approved S. 958, the Children’s Hospital GME Support Reauthorization Act, which would reauthorize the Children’s Hospitals Graduate Medical Education (CHGME) program at the current funding level of $330 million annually through federal fiscal year (FFY) 2016.
The CHGME program supports 56 hospitals nationwide and trains more than 5,000 medical residents each year. Children’s hospitals rely on annual appropriations, rather than standard Medicare Graduate Medical Education (GME) payments, to help defray the cost of training new doctors. The CHGME program’s current funding is due to expire on September 30.
Earlier this year, in his federal fiscal year (FFY) 2012 budget proposal, President Obama proposed eliminating the CHGME program. HANYS opposed the President’s proposal, and joined the National Association of Children’s Hospitals and Related Institutions (NACHRI) and more than 135 organizations in sending letters to House and Senate appropriators to encourage them to maintain funding for CHGME in FFY 2012 appropriations.
The House Energy and Commerce Committee approved a similar reauthorization measure, H.R. 1852, in July. The legislation awaits floor consideration in both houses, but final passage is expected. Contact: Chelsi Stevens