The AHA today expressed support for the Children’s Hospital GME Support Reauthorization Act of 2018 (S. 2597/H.R. 5385), which would reauthorize the Children’s Hospitals Graduate Medical Education program for an additional five years and fund the program annually at $330 million. Congress created the CHGME program in 1999 to support GME programs at children’s hospitals that train resident physicians, as well as enhance research capabilities and care for poor and medically underserved children in rural and inner-city areas. The program provides funding to 58 independent children’s hospitals in more than 30 states to train primary care pediatricians. “Children’s hospitals treat very few Medicare patients; therefore, they do not receive Medicare funding to support medical training of residents,” AHA Executive Vice President Tom Nickels wrote in a letter of support to Sen. Bob Casey (D-PA), Sen. Johnny Isakson (R-GA), Rep. Gene Green (D-TX) and Rep. Michael Burgess (R-TX), the bill’s sponsors. “The CHGME program helps to offset this inequity. CHGME helps independent children’s hospitals train over 45% of general pediatricians, 57% of pediatric specialists and the majority of pediatric researchers.”

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