Residency

Should Medicare cap GME funding at $150K per resident?

Residency Program Insider, October 9, 2019

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Capping Medicare GME funding at $150,000 per resident could free nearly $1.3 billion that could be used to alleviate physician shortages in underserved areas, a new study in JAMA Internal Medicine suggests.

The researchers looked at cost reports to calculate GME payments to hospitals from 2000 through 2015. They found that GME annual funding rates for teaching hospitals can vary by more than $75,000 per resident. In 2015, for example, 25% of hospitals receiving less than $105,761 while 25% received more than $182,233 per resident.

The researchers then calculated the savings if Medicare capped GME payments at $150,000 per year, which is the rate used for the Teaching Health Center Graduate Medical Education (THCGME) program, which trains residents in community health centers, and other community-based settings in underserved areas.

"Our study suggests that the savings produced by capping all hospitals at the THCGME rate would add up enough to expand the THC program by tenfold," said study lead author Candice Chen, MD, MPH.

Editor’s note: This is an edited excerpt from an article by John Commins published by Healthleaders.



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