Reps. Joseph Crowley (D-NY) and Ryan Costello (R-PA) yesterday introduced AHA-supported legislation that would add 15,000 Medicare-funded residency positions to alleviate physician shortages that threaten patients’ access to care. The Resident Physician Shortage Reduction Act (H.R. 2267) outlines a hierarchy for distributing the new positions, prioritizing teaching hospitals that are currently training residents in excess of their cap, those in states with newly opened medical schools, and those that emphasize training physicians in community-based or outpatient hospital settings. At least half of the new slots would be for specialty residency programs with shortages. “We believe this approach responsibly addresses the nation’s urgent need for additional physicians,” AHA Executive Vice President Tom Nickels said in a letter of support to the sponsors. “Further, we applaud you for directing the Government Accountability Office to recommend to Congress strategies for increasing the diversity of the health professions workforce. The AHA is firmly committed to ensuring that hospitals’ staff and governance reflect the communities they serve, and your bill would help make progress toward that worthy goal.”