June 14, 2017
1 min read

AMA takes action to address physician shortage

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AMA delegates at the annual meeting underway in Chicago adopted a policy to ensure there is sufficient funding for medical residency positions, according to a press release.

The organization stated that it will try to accomplish this by advocating to CMS to modify current Medicare graduate medical education requirements to allow institutions ample time to create new residency programs.

According to the release, this action was spawned by its ongoing effort to ensure patients have access to an adequate physician workforce, in economically depressed and underserved areas.

“The AMA remains committed to expanding [graduate medical education] funding to ensure we train enough physicians to meet the nation’s changing health care needs,” Omar Z. Maniya, MD, AMA Board Member, said in the release. “The current 5-year deadline for developing new residency programs in underserved areas before a cap is placed on the amount of Medicare funding they can receive for these programs is not effective. We will urge CMS to give institutions the time they need to identify qualified, willing teaching partners to create residency programs that are able to meet the needs of patients in underserved areas.”

According to the release, this effort is AMA’s latest attempt to what it calls “modernize” the graduate medical education requirements program. Past efforts include:

•urging support for the Resident Physician Shortage Reduction Act of 2017, a federal bill that would expand Medicare funding for 15,000 additional residency positions; and

•maintaining and expanding the SaveGME program, which urges Congress to protect federal funding for graduate medical education, which supports access to care in undersupplied specialties and underserved areas, as well as to teach patients about the importance of graduation medical education and the role of residents in the delivery the United States’ health care.

Other efforts by AMA to bring the graduate medical education requirements program up-to-date include increasing funding for medical residency slots and developing innovative practice models and residency positions that reflect societal needs. – by Janel Miller

Disclosure: Healio Family Medicine was unable to determine Maniya’s relevant financial disclosures prior to publication.