MedPAC makes recommendations on GME funding

Residency Program Insider, April 6, 2010

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After more than two years of examining medical education payments, the Medicare Payment Advisory Commission (MedPAC) made five recommendations last week that may change GME funding.

The recommendation with the potential for biggest impact is the establishment of a performance-based GME program. MedPAC suggests asking Congress to give the Secretary of Health and Human Services (HHS) the authority to implement such a program. “The program would distribute approximately $3.5 billion in indirect medical education (IME) payments above the so-called ‘empirical level’ that MedPAC estimates to be around 2.2%; the IME adjustment is currently set at 5.5%,” the AAMC says.

The other four of MedPAC’s recommendations call for several studies:

  • An workforce analysis to determine how many total residency positions are needed and in what specialty
  • A report to Congress examining how the financial performance of sponsoring institutions are affected by residency programs to determine whether all programs should receive the same support from Medicare
  • A study of new ways to increase diversity in the healthcare workforce
  • An annual report indicating the direct GME and IME payments received by each hospital, the number of residents trained, and Medicare's share of the associated costs incurred by the hospital

For more on MedPAC’s recommendations, visit the AAMC’s Washington Highlights Web page.

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