Statement on GME Legislation
Executive Vice President
American Hospital Association
April 30, 2015
The AHA strongly supports the Resident Physician Shortage Reduction Act of 2015, introduced in Congress today by Representatives Joseph Crowley and Charles Boustany and Senators Harry Reid, Charles Schumer and Bill Nelson. The legislation would increase the number of available physician residency slots at teaching hospitals, which have been frozen for the last 18 years. To ensure patients have access to needed care, Congress must do its part by lifting the cap on the number of federally-supported residency slots.
America’s teaching hospitals serve a unique and critical role in the nation’s health care system. They not only train future health care professionals but also conduct medical research and serve a distinct and vital role in delivering patient care. They are centers of research and innovation, helping to develop new treatments and cures, and provide highly-specialized care to patients.
The current freeze on the number of physician training positions that Medicare funds has severely limited hospitals’ ability to train the next generation of physicians. It has also contributed to a shortage of physicians, especially in behavioral health, primary care and general surgery. The process of educating and training a physician can take up to a decade.
We applaud the co-sponsors of the leglisation for their leadership on this important issue. We look forward to working with Congress to enact this vital legislation.
About the AHA
The AHA is a not-for-profit association of health care provider organizations and individuals that are committed to the health improvement of their communities. The AHA is the national advocate for its members, which include nearly 5,000 hospitals, health care systems, networks, other providers of care and 43,000 individual members. Founded in 1898, the AHA provides education for health care leaders and is a source of information on health care issues and trends. For more information, visit the AHA website at www.aha.org.
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