Senators introduce bipartisan bill to add 15,000 GME slots

Three senators introduced a bill to add 15,000 training positions for physicians over five years to help address the physician shortage.

If passed, the bill allocates Medicare-funded training positions first to new medical schools or branch campuses, hospitals training more than their current cap on positions, VA-affiliated hospitals, hospitals with an emphasis in community-based or outpatient settings, and hospitals that operate a rural program but are not located in a rural area. It would also require half of the new GME slots for a shortage specialty residency program and cap the maximum number of positions per hospital to 75 per year.

Under current law, Medicare-funded resident positions are capped at 1996 levels. This means teaching hospitals do not receive Medicare funding for any training positions added to their residency programs since 1996. The bill introduced by U.S. Sens. Bob Menendez, D-N.J., John Boozman, R-Ark., and Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., aims to lift this cap to address expected shortages of more than 120,000 physicians by 2030.

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