Graduate Medical Education (GME)
When Congress created the Medicare program in 1965, it established a Medicare GME funding stream to support the training of our nation’s medical residents to provide care to Medicare beneficiaries. Medicare remains the single largest payer of graduate medical education (GME)—$9.5 billion in 2009.
Because of provisions mandated by the Budget Control Act of 2011 federal programs now face across-the-board sequestration cuts. If Congress does not act by the end of this year, sequestration will go into effect. Talks have begun between in Congress to reach an agreement on how to address the budget deficit and prevent sequestration.
- As legislators look for ways to cut back on federal spending, Medicare Graduate Medical Education funds are in danger.
- Some in Congress question the value and accountability for such a large federal program, and as they look for programs where costs can be restrained, GME is vulnerable to major reductions in funding.
- Major across-the-board reductions in funding to GME impact the primary care workforce disproportionately.
- If GME reductions are deemed necessary, cuts should be prioritized and targeted. In any fiscal action, Congress should protect funding for primary care training.
- Read AAFP's Medicare GME Overview
- AAFP News Now article: Future Direction of U.S. Graduate Medical Education Is Focus of Grant to IOM: Macy Foundation Helps Foot the Bill for Comprehensive GME Study
- AAFP News Now article: House Bill Sets Up Pilot Project for Distributing GME Funds: Legislation Would Support Primary Care Training Where It Is Delivered