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Schumer, Crowley Introduce HANYS-Backed Medicare GME Legislation

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Legislation to increase Medicare-supported residency slots in teaching hospitals was introduced this week by Senators Charles Schumer (D-NY), Bill Nelson (D-FL), and Harry Reid (D-NV) in the U.S. Senate, and by Representatives Joe Crowley (D-Queens/Bronx) and Charles Boustany (R-LA) in the House of Representatives.  The HANYS-backed Resident Physician Shortage Reduction Act of 2015 (S. 1148/H.R. 2124) would augment the number of residency slots by 3,000 per year for each of five years from 2017 to 2021, for a total of 15,000 new slots.  The legislation stipulates that at least 1,500 slots per year must be used for a shortage specialty residency program as defined by the Health Resources and Services Administration. 

The introduction of this legislation is crucial to garnering bipartisan support in Congress for protection and augmentation of Graduate Medical Education (GME) as the projected need for doctors grows.  In addition to helping pay for physician training, GME payments are essential in supporting the vital role of facilities in providing healthcare in their communities.  Teaching hospitals and academic medical centers are important components of the healthcare safety net, providing essential services for many communities—including the vast majority of uncompensated care delivered to patients in the state.

HANYS appreciates the continued leadership of Senator Schumer and Representative Crowley and will work in collaboration with the American Hospital Association and other state and metropolitan hospital and health system association colleagues around the country to build support for this bipartisan legislation.

HANYS encourages members to contact their representatives in Washington and urge their early support for this important bill.

A copy of the legislation and a summary provided by Senator Schumer’s office are available to members online; see HANYS’ Medicare GME white paper for additional information on the program. Contact: Elyse Oveson

Published May 1, 2015