Senator Bob Menendez (D-NJ), Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY), and Senator John Boozman (R-AR) last week introduced the Resident Physician Shortage Reduction Act of 2021. The legislation, which GNYHA and the Association of American Medical Colleges have aggressively advocated for, increases the number of residency positions that would be eligible for Medicare direct graduate medical education (DGME) and indirect medical education (IME) support. The House is expected to introduce a similar version of the legislation this week.
The recently passed Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2021 created 1,000 new direct DGME and IME slots beginning on October 1, 2022. This was the first time since the enactment of the Balanced Budget Act of 1997 that Congress created new reimbursable Medicare residency slots for urban teaching hospitals. The Resident Physician Shortage Reduction Act of 2021 would build on this important progress and further increase the number of new reimbursable Medicare residency slots nationally by 14,000 over seven years starting in 2023.
The ongoing COVID-19 pandemic and the significant health care needs of the nation’s aging population have demonstrated the need for additional Medicare support to expand the physician workforce pipeline. GNYHA will work vigorously with Congress and our colleagues across the country to secure the bill’s passage.