Tuesday, October 4, 2011

APA Urges Budget-Cutting Committee To Spare GME Funding

APA has joined with organizations representing almost every medical specialty in calling on the congressional budget-cutting "supercommitee" to protect graduate medical education (GME) funding that comes through the Medicare program. Coalition members sent a letter to committee members October 3 saying that they "are gravely concerned that reductions in Medicare's support for GME potentially worsen an already problematic national physician workforce shortage." That shortage is expected to soar to 91,500 in 2020 because of an imminent wave of physician retirements and rapid aging of the U.S. population. The current cap on GME funding is already preventing teaching hospitals from expanding training positions and prevents new hospitals from establishing teaching programs, the coalition emphasized. "Ensuring access for Medicare beneficiaries requires long-term and rational physician payment reforms, as well as an adequate supply of physicians to care for an aging nation," the letter states.

Read more about how the budget crisis may affect Medicare's funding of graduate medical education and payment for physician services in Psychiatric News at http://pn.psychiatryonline.org/content/46/16/1.2.full.

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