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Academic Internists Release Principles For Medicare GME Reform

June 18, 2010

Principles identify shortfalls in GME funding, make proposals for financing reform

The Alliance for Academic Internal Medicine (AAIM) has identified core principles that delineate the shortfalls of graduate medical education (GME) funding. In light of the current state of Medicare GME financing and the Medicare Payment Advisory Commission’s (MedPAC’s) June 2010 report, AAIM encourages GME reform to address these shortfalls in light of societal health care needs.

The AAIM Principles for GME Reform state:

    * Medicare GME payments should be strategically utilized to address physician workforce and societal needs.
    * Medicare GME payments should be adjusted to reflect the costs of training residents and fellows in the 21st century.
    * All payers should explicitly support GME.
    * GME financing should be transparent.
    * Barriers that hinder resident educational experiences in didactic settings and scholarly activity should be removed.

“For years, there has been conversation that Medicare support for GME is not data-driven,” said AAIM President D. Craig Brater, MD. “Until we know true costs, decisions about cutting funding of GME in amount or methodology are educated guesses and fraught with risk of unintended consequences. However, plans to reassess GME costs should not preclude the much needed expansion of GME positions to address the physician shortage and the health care needs of the nation.”

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