Legislation to Increase GME Slots Reintroduced by New Jersey Representatives
April 20, 2020
In an April 7th letter to Congress, U.S. Representatives Josh Gottheimer (NJ-5) and Bill Pascrell, Jr. (NJ-9) have requested an increase in Graduate Medical Education (GME) slots for hospitals to be included in the next COVID-19 legislative package.
“This would help alleviate the staffing burden that has plagued so many hospitals across the country, and especially in Northern New Jersey, which has been hit particularly hard by the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Members.
This increase would not only help alleviate physician shortages that are needed to ensure adequate staffing during this pandemic but also increase the quality of healthcare to New Jerseyans for decades to come. The current regulations have not been updated since The Balanced Budget Act of 1997.
This act limited the number of allopathic and osteopathic medical residents that would be counted for purposes of calculating Medicare indirect medical education (IME) and direct graduate medical education (DGME) reimbursement to the unweighted number on each hospital’s most recent cost report as of December 31, 1996 (BBA Section 4621).
This cap has made it difficult for New Jersey to retain highly-trained medical students who often seek opportunities out-of-state because of the lack of GME slots available to them. The original bill to increase GME slots was submitted to Congress in July of 2019 by Gottheimer and Pascrell, along with U.S. Senators Bob Mendez (NJ) and Cory Booker (NJ).
This bill would correct an arbitrary and outdated cap on hospital graduate medical education slots. “Because of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, our hospitals need every available resource to ensure workforce needs are met.” Following is a link to the full letter, where you can find additional details: https://gottheimer.house.gov/uploadedfiles/04-07-2020_gottheimer_pascrell_gme_letter.pdf