Teaching Health CenterReauthorizationWhat’s our ask on the Hill?Hope Wittenberg, Director,Government Relations,Council of Academic Family Medicine
TEACHING HEALTH CENTERSOur Ask:1. Reauthorize the Program Now2. Provide a sustainable funding streamsuch as Medicare Graduate MedicalEducation (GME), modified to fit this vitalprogramNote: this can be done in a budget neutralfashion.
• 5 year authorization (ends FY2015)• Mandatory appropriations – not subject toannual appropriations• $150,000 per resident amount (IME andDME)• Funding goes directly to the sponsoringinstitution (FQHC, consortium, etc.)
A THC is defined as an entity that:1. is a community-based, ambulatory patientcare center, and2. operates a primary care residencyprogram.• Note: FQHCs are the most common, butcan be a FMC or other.
ACCREDITATION IS KEYTo qualify for THC funding:The health center or consortium must beaccredited as the sponsoring institution forthe residency program.
WHY REAUTHORIZE NOW?• As we move to the fourth and fifth years,will programs offer positions to residentswhen they are uncertain there will becontinued funding?• Most programs tell us they will NOTrecruit.,
Benefits – Qualitative andQuantitative• Funding to education entity – not hospital• Main training in community where primary carepractice lives, rather than hospital-based• NHSC scholars can spend 50% time in non-clinical work• Helps with recruiting; residents trained inunderserved populations more likely to locate inunderserved populations for practice• Increase in primary care production
Production of primary care physicians under theTHC programRed: current residents, by year;Pink: projected # of residents.Navy: expected graduates this year;Light blue: projected graduates inyears 4 and 5.Orange: number of residentpositions waiting for approval ofaccreditation; should know by end ofMay the exact additional number.
Challenges to Overcome• Funding isn’t stable– Year 4 – New PG 1’s are certain of only one year more offunding; need two more for graduation– Year 5 – New PG 1’s – no funding for years 2 or 3– OBGYN’s in worse shape as they need four years to graduate• It has been repealed several times by the House ofRepresentatives;– Part of the ACA– Funding with mandatory appropriations• Congress usually waits until last minute to reauthorize• Can we overcome the negative of it being part of the ACAand fund it with stable Medicare funding?
Our Ask• Congress should reauthorize theTeaching Health Center (THC) programthis year to prevent a gap in the pipelineof primary care physician production.• Urge Congress to provide a sustainablefunding stream such as MedicareGraduate Medical Education (GME),modified to fit this vital program.NOTE: This can be done in a budget neutral fashion