Congress enacted the Children’s Hospital Graduate Medical Education Payment Program (CHGME) in 1999 with the goal of providing freestanding children’s hospitals with the same federal GME funding that other teaching hospitals receive through Medicare. In 1998, children’s hospitals received less than 0.5 percent of the level of federal GME support that adult teaching hospitals received. The unintended inequity in federal GME funding was a serious financial disadvantage for children’s hospitals.
Today, thanks to CHGME, the payments made to children’s hospitals on a per resident basis, as a percent of Medicare payments, have risen to approximately 68 percent. This has enabled children’s hospitals to sustain and strengthen their teaching programs as well as continue to increase services dedicated to children’s unique health care needs.
In response to local and national needs for additional pediatricians and pediatric subspecialists, children’s hospitals have improved and strengthened their teaching programs. The CHGME program has accounted for more than 74 percent of the growth in the number of new pediatric subspecialists being trained nationwide. Since CHGME began, children’s hospitals have increased their training by 45 percent, even though much of the increase has been over hospitals’ resident training caps – the number of residents for which teaching hospitals are eligible to receive payment. Children’s hospitals do not receive financial assistance for the residents they train over their cap level.
Beyond expanding teaching programs, CHGME funding has enabled children’s hospitals to provide significant value to the patients and communities they serve including:
- Closing the gap in pediatric subspecialty care
- Building the supply of pediatricians in our communities
- Supporting advanced pediatric research
- Advancing the quality of pediatric medical education
- Providing care for vulnerable and underserved children
- Supporting complex, state-of-the-art care for all children
- Pioneering community-based pediatric training