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Congressman Ryan Costello

Representing the 6th District of Pennsylvania

REP. COSTELLO AND CHAIRMAN CROWLEY INTRODUCE BIPARTISAN BILL TO SUPPORT PHYSICIAN WORKFORCE

May 9, 2017
Press Release

Washington, D.C. – Rep. Ryan Costello (R-PA) and House Democratic Caucus Chairman Joe Crowley (D-NY) announced the reintroduction of legislation to expand the current cap on the number of Medicare-supported training slots for doctors, helping to ensure teaching hospitals can meet the growing demands for physicians as our nation faces a looming doctor shortage.

The U.S. is expected to face a shortage of up to 104,900 physicians by 2030, including shortages in both primary and specialty care, according to the Association of American Medical Colleges. Medical school enrollment is growing, yet the number of residency positions is still subject to an outdated cap, meaning that these medical school graduates will have no place to finish their required training.

“A strong physician workforce is vital to ensuring all Americans have timely access to essential and quality healthcare.  This legislation would allow Congress to address concerns about physician shortages by providing teaching hospitals with the necessary resources to support increased residency openings,” said Rep. Costello. “By demonstrating a bipartisan commitment to developing a new generation of skilled physicians, we can expand the availability of health care.”

“Raising the resident cap is a critical first step in addressing this nationwide crisis. Medical schools have responded by expanding enrollment numbers, but it’s time for Congress to act so these new medical students can complete their training,” said Chairman Crowley. “Additionally, teaching hospitals have taken on a great deal of responsibility but they need the support of Congress and adequate federal funding to continue. A doctor shortage is something we just can’t ignore. This is a nationwide problem and the path to ensuring all Americans have access to high-quality, well-trained physicians is through the strengthening of GME programs.”

The Resident Physician Shortage Reduction Act was first introduced in 2009 and again in subsequent Congresses. The legislation would increase the number of Medicare-supported hospital residency positions by 15,000 (3,000 slots per year, over five years), bringing the total number of slots available to 105,000 and opening up significant new opportunities for future doctors and for the teaching hospitals that train them.

“Rep. Costello understands the critical physician shortages that many of Pennsylvania’s hospitals face,” said Andy Carter, President and CEO of The Hospital and Health System Association of Pennsylvania (HAP). “We are grateful for his leadership and collaboration on this issue, and we urge Congress to pass this important legislation.”  

“The American Medical Association strongly supports H.R. 2267, the Resident Physician Shortage Reduction Act of 2017, which would help ward off a looming physician shortage in the next decade,” said American Medical Association (AMA) President Andrew W. Gurman, MD. The bill would increase the opportunities for physician training programs, a move essential to ensuring patient access to care. We appreciate Rep. Costello’s leadership on this important issue and look forward to working to advance this legislation."

The legislation is supported by the Association of American Medical Colleges, American Medical Association, American Hospital Association, American Osteopathic Association, American Association of Colleges of Osteopathic Medicine, America's Essential Hospitals, Federation of American Hospitals, and other leading national and state organizations.

 

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