Sunday, August 3, 2014

IOM Graduate Medical Education Report: Better Aligning GME Funding With Health Workforce Needs

Our prior blog posting, Medical Education Financing---Another iminent Fiasco  indicated that studies have been undertaken for revising Graduate Medical Education (GME) funding, by the Institute of Medicine (IOM) and others. The IOM is a highly respected and very influential group of leaders in medicine, headed by prominent scientists and physicians, such as Ben Carson M.D.

The IOM is part of theNational Academy of Sciences (NAS)

After nearly two years of deliberation, the Institute of Medicine (IOM) Committee on the Governance and Financing of Graduate Medical Education (GME) has issued its report. It presents a strong case for the need for change and a strong case for its recommendations.
Issues related to GME financing have been contentious for many years. In 1965, Congress included GME financing under Medicare reimbursement in what was intended to be a temporary arrangement. Nearly 50 years later, we are still trying to find a permanent and more rational way to finance and pay for the training of physicians as an alternative to the current complex, arcane formula built on Medicare inpatient days. Despite the well-documented shortcomings of the current system and numerous studies, attempts to find agreement on how to change and improve GME financing have been unsuccessful. 

Since the creation of the Medicare and Medicaid programs in 1965, the public has provided tens of billions of dollars to fund graduate medical education (GME), the period of residency and fellowship that is provided to physicians after they receive a medical degree. Although the scale of govern­ment support for physician training far exceeds that for any other profession, there is a striking absence of transparency and accountability in the GME financing system for producing the types of physicians that the nation needs.

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