The Joint Select Committee on Deficit Reduction should not make cuts to Medicare financing for graduate medical education, the Association of American Medical Colleges and 39 other physician and hospital groups asserted in a joint letter to the supercommittee (PDF) Monday.
Doc, hospital groups urge supercommittee on GME
Along with the AAMC, the American Hospital Association, the American Medical Association, the American College of Physicians, the American Academy of Family Physicians and the Catholic Health Association were among the groups that signed off on the letter, which emphasized the AAMC's projection that there will be a shortage of 91,500 physicians by 2020—and 130,600 doctors five years later.
"The next step is to assure a sufficient number of residency training programs," the groups noted in their letter. "Unfortunately, Medicare's current cap on financial support for GME prevents teaching hospitals from expanding the number of training positions and often prevents new hospitals from establishing teaching programs." They continued: "Now is the time for our nation to invest in physician training programs, not reduce them."
The supercommittee's next hearing will be Tuesday, Oct. 4. The panel will examine the country's economic outlook and question Ben Bernanke, chairman of the U.S. Federal Reserve.
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