The AOA has joined more than 65 health care groups in asking Congress via letter to co-sponsor The Resident Physician Shortage Reduction Act of 2019 (S. 348, H.R. 1763). This bipartisan legislation would provide a responsible increase in Medicare support for graduate medical education to address the impending national physician workforce shortage.

“As you may know, the demand for physicians continues to grow faster than supply, leading to a projected shortfall of between 42,600 and 121,300 physicians by 2030 with predicted shortages in both primary and specialty care,” the letter states. “Physicians are a critical element of our health care infrastructure and workforce, and if we do not address this impending problem, patients from pediatrics to geriatrics, will find it difficult to access the care they need.”

The Balanced Budget Act of 1997 imposed caps on the number of residents for which each teaching hospital is eligible to receive Medicare Direct Graduate Medical Education (DGME) and Indirect Medical Education (IME) payments. These caps have remained in place and have generally only been adjusted as a result of certain limited and one-time programs.

The Act would increase the number of residency positions eligible for Medicare DGME and IME support by 15,000 slots above the current caps.

Read the full letter here.