Children's hospitals urge Congress to provide strong continued funding for the Children's Hospitals Graduate Medical Education (CHGME) program within any final FY 2018 funding legislation.
- The CHGME program supports child health nationally by funding the training of pediatric providers at freestanding children's hospitals. A robust pediatric workforce is essential to ensuring that no child lacks access to high quality medical care. CHGME recipient hospitals – only 1 percent of all hospitals – train approximately half of the nation's pediatricians and pediatric specialists, more than 7,000 annually. CHGME remains integral to developing and maintaining training programs that target the unique needs of children.
- While CHGME has been successful in promoting access to care, much remains to be done. Unfortunately, funding to train doctors to serve children has not kept pace with need. Serious pediatric workforce shortages persist, most acutely among pediatric subspecialties. Localized shortages of pediatric primary care also continue, particularly in certain rural areas.
- Furthermore, our nation's commitment to children's health care still lags behind our investment in adults with respect to workforce training. The average CHGME payment per full-time equivalent (FTE) resident represents only approximately 45 percent of what Medicare GME provides.
- With strong support for CHGME, we can further address pediatric workforce shortages, particularly specialist shortages, which put at risk access to care for children.
- Children's hospitals thank Congress for a long history of support for the CHGME program. For FY 2017, the program is funded at a level of $300 million. This funding will help children's hospitals maintain and expand vital training programs and protect gains in pediatric health.
- For FY 2018, the FY 2018 House Labor-HHS-Education Appropriations bill would again provide $300 million for CHGME, while the Senate FY 2018 Labor-HHS-Education bill recommends an increase to $305 million.
Now is the time to take a step forward in strengthening kids' health. Congress should make sure that any final FY 2018 appropriations legislation includes strong funding for CHGME.