Children's hospitals urge House members to co-sponsor S. 2597, The Children's Hospitals GME Support Reauthorization Act of 2018, introduced by Sens. Robert P. Casey, Jr., D-Pa., and Johnny Isakson, R-Ga.
This legislation would reauthorize the Children's Hospitals Graduate Medical Education (CHGME) program for five years and strengthen federal support of vital pediatric training programs. The current authorization for the program expires Sept. 30, 2018.
- The CHGME program funds the training of pediatric providers at eligible children's hospitals. The 58 children's hospitals that receive CHGME — only 1 percent of all hospitals — 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.
- Between 2000 and 2015, CHGME-supported hospitals have collectively increased their residency training by 113 percent, accounting for 89 percent of overall growth nationally in pediatric training. Over the same time frame, CHGME hospitals have also increased the number of pediatric specialists they train by 206 percent. 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, the average CHGME payment per full-time equivalent (FTE) resident represents only approximately half of what Medicare GME provides to support training at general acute care hospitals. The Children's Hospitals GME Support Reauthorization 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 kids' health. Please co-sponsor S. 2597, The Children's Hospitals GME Support Reauthorization Act of 2018.