WASHINGTON, DC – The Health Subcommittee, chaired by Rep. Michael C. Burgess, M.D. (R-TX), today held a hearing to review H.R. 5385, the Children’s Hospital GME Support Reauthorization Act of 2018, authored by #SubHealth Ranking Member Gene Green (D-TX) and #SubHealth Chairman Burgess. H.R. 5385 will reauthorize the Children’s Hospital Graduate Medical Education (CHGME) program for five years. The authorization for the program expires on September 30, 2018.
“The CHGME program is especially crucial in training our pediatric subspecialists. Children’s hospitals have a unique patient population with medical conditions from which pediatric medical residents can learn and develop critical skills. The experience gained from such a residency helps to prepare and train physicians for the complex reality of pediatric medicine that they will face in the future of their medical careers,” said #SubHealth Chairman Burgess. “I can say as an OB/GYN who did his residency at Parkland Hospital in Dallas, that residency programs play a vital role in shaping our nation’s physician workforce. Our pediatric workforce is no exception.”
The Texan leaders of #SubHealth are the authors of the bipartisan reauthorization
Dr. Gordon Schutze, Executive Vice Chairman, Department of Pediatrics, Texas Children’s Hospital, spoke in support of the bill, testifying, “H.R. 5385 strengthens our nation’s commitment to bolster the pediatric workforce today and into the future by supporting the training of doctors who care for children living in every state — in cities, rural communities, suburbs and everywhere in between. …A robust pediatric workforce is essential to ensuring that no child lacks access to high-quality medical care.”
Speaking on behalf of the American Academy of Pediatrics, Dr. Susan Guralnick, Associate Dean for Graduate Medical Education, University of California, Davis, highlighted the unique training pediatricians and other pediatric specialists must receive, and how their patients are “not just little adults.”
“Training physicians to provide optimal health care for children requires substantial investments of time, effort, and resources,” said Dr. Guralnick. “The federal government investment in medical training is essential in making this happen. Federal funding of graduate medical education benefits everyone. Medical training is a costly endeavor, but is one that is essential to ensuring that America’s physicians are trained – and in sufficient supply – to be able to tackle the complicated health challenges we face as a nation. Teaching hospitals also provide 37 percent of all charity care in the United States, making medical training, or graduate medical education programs essential in expanding access to uninsured and underserved populations.”
“The United States is facing a severe shortage of physicians and the case is no different for pediatric specialists. Now more than ever, we must continue to support this vital training program for pediatricians and pediatric subspecialists in children’s hospitals,” said Energy and Commerce Committee Chairman Greg Walden (R-OR). “The authorization for this important program expires on September 30, 2018, so it is important we complete our work on time.”
The Majority Memorandum, witness testimony, and an archived webcast are available online here.