Academic internists release principles for Medicare GME reform

Washington, DC (June 17, 2010) — The Alliance for Academic Internal Medicine (AAIM) has identified core principles that delineate the shortfalls of graduate medical education (GME) funding. In light of the current state of Medicare GME financing and the Medicare Payment Advisory Commission’s (MedPAC’s) June 2010 report, AAIM encourages GME reform to address these shortfalls in light of societal health care needs.

The AAIM Principles for GME Reform state:

  • Medicare GME payments should be strategically utilized to address physician workforce and societal needs.
  • Medicare GME payments should be adjusted to reflect the costs of training residents and fellows in the 21st century.
  • All payers should explicitly support GME.
  • GME financing should be transparent.
  • Barriers that hinder resident educational experiences in didactic settings and scholarly activity should be removed.

“For years, there has been conversation that Medicare support for GME is not data-driven,” said AAIM President D. Craig Brater, MD. “Until we know true costs, decisions about cutting funding of GME in amount or methodology are educated guesses and fraught with risk of unintended consequences. However, plans to reassess GME costs should not preclude the much needed expansion of GME positions to address the physician shortage and the health care needs of the nation.”

About the Alliance for Academic Internal Medicine

The Alliance for Academic Internal Medicine (AAIM) is the consortium of five academically focused specialty organizations representing departments of internal medicine at medical schools and teaching hospitals in the United States and Canada. AAIM consists of the Association of Professors of Medicine, the Association of Program Directors in Internal Medicine, the Association of Specialty Professors, the Clerkship Directors in Internal Medicine, and the Administrators of Internal Medicine. Through these organizations, AAIM represents department chairs and chiefs; clerkship, residency, and fellowship program directors; division chiefs; and academic and business administrators as well as other faculty and staff in departments of internal medicine and their divisions.

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