Talking Points - Graduate Medical Education Funding Cuts
MEDICARE GME FUNDING CUTS INFO SHEETBackgroundMedicare was created in 1965 as a health insurance program for the nation’s elderly. It alsocovers several groups of people, generally thought of as long-term disabled.As part of this legislation, the Direct Graduate Medical Education payment system was createdto compensate teaching hospitals for Medicare’s share of the costs directly related to trainingresidents (salaries for residents, teaching faculty, admin staff). Currently, this is ~$3 billion/year.In 1983, Congress added Indirect Graduate Medical Education payment to help teachinghospitals defray the cost of caring for the most complex patients as the DRG case system failedto account for the severity of illness of patients requiring the specialized treatment provided byteaching institutions and the additional costs of teaching residents. Currently, ~$6.5 billion/year.Medicare GME funding has been effectively capped since 1997 (forcing teaching institutions tocut residency slots, programs, or find alternate methods of financing).Intro Script-Call 1-866-727-4894. Ask for the office of your legislator.-Probably leaving a message. Leave name, address, phone number/email address (optional).-Remember: RESPECTFUL!! FACTS!! LOCAL/PERSONAL ANECDOTE!! THANK THEM!!“As a psychiatric physician and a constituent, I wanted to urge Senator/Congressman _____ tooppose suggested cuts for Graduate Medical Education in the ongoing deficit reduction talks.As a resident in the largest academic medical center in Western Pennsylvania, I know these cutscould result in fewer residents trained to be PA physicians, decreased services to some of thesickest patients in PA, and ultimately, increased costs and health care problems down the line.Training additional physicians to address PA’s current and future medical workforce shortagemust be a priority; cuts in funding will reduce access to essential healthcare services incommunities across PA. Please oppose these suggested cuts to the physician workforce.”Talking Points-This will result in the loss of residency slots in established residency programs and the eliminationof residency programs in smaller programs across the country (especially in rural areas!). Even aSMALL (~2-3%) cut means residency slots lost!-We’re going to need MORE physicians, not LESS! We’re looking at a shortage of 6,000 to8,000/year over the next 20 years to avoid a crisis in access to health care.-These cuts would cut funding from the very hospitals at the front line of providing care for thenation’s most complex and challenging patient populations (Trauma ICUs, Burn centers).-We understand the need to curb the national debt, but this is cutting core investment spendingthat will cost more in the long run.-Teaching hospitals are huge economic engines. Cutting this funding results in lost jobs, localeconomic decline. PA has a large number of teaching hospitals!