• Talking Points
  • June 15, 2018

Prioritize Kids' Health: Reauthorize CHGME (S. 2597/H.R. 5385)

  • Today's children represent the future of our nation, and their health must be a top priority.
  • With this in mind, children's hospitals urge Congress to pass the Children's Hospitals GME Support Reauthorization Act of 2018 (S. 2597, Casey/Isakson, and H.R. 5385, Green/Burgess). This legislation would reauthorize the Children's Hospitals Graduate Medical Education (CHGME) program, which enjoys broad bipartisan support, for five additional years and strengthen federal support for vital pediatric training programs. The current authorization for the program expires Sept. 30, 2018.
  • CHGME funds the training of pediatric providers at eligible children's hospitals. The 58 children's hospitals that receive CHGME funding train approximately half of the nation's pediatricians, more than 7,000 annually.
  • CHGME was created in 1999 because Congress recognized that a dedicated source of support for training in children's hospitals was necessary to strengthen the pediatric workforce. Since then, CHGME funding has enabled children's hospitals to dramatically increase training overall, and in particular grow the supply of pediatric specialists — the area of greatest shortage in children's health care.
  • Since 2000, CHGME-supported hospitals have collectively increased their residency training by 113 percent. At the same time, they have accounted for 89 percent of the overall growth nationally in pediatric training and 71 percent of the growth nationally in subspecialty residency training. Today, in the majority of pediatric subspecialist fields tracked by the American Medical Association, more than 65 percent of residents are trained at children's hospitals that receive CHGME. In some fields, such as pediatric rehabilitation medicine, virtually all physicians receive their training at CHGME hospitals.
  • While CHGME has a track record of success, much remains to be done. Nationally, workforce shortages persist, most acutely among pediatric subspecialties, though localized shortages in pediatric primary care also continue in certain areas. Additionally, CHGME funding represents approximately half of what Medicare GME provides to support training at general acute care hospitals on a per-resident basis. The bipartisan Children's Hospitals GME Support Act of 2018 would help Congress address this funding shortfall by increasing the authorization level for CHGME to $330 million a year. 

Reauthorizing the CHGME program is vital to taking a step forward in children's health. Children’s hospitals call on Congress to prioritize kids' health and pass the bipartisan Children's Hospitals GME Support Reauthorization Act of 2018.