Nationwide Children’s Hospital applauds the House of Representatives for voting in favor of H.R. 1852 which reauthorizes the Children’s Hospitals Graduate Medical Education (CHGME) program. The bill, which was introduced in May of this year by Representatives Joe Pitts (R-PA), chairman of the Energy and Commerce Committee’s Health Subcommittee, and Frank Pallone, Jr. (D-NJ), ranking member of the Health Subcommittee, reauthorizes up to $330 million per year during a five year period to support pediatric residency training at 56 freestanding children’s teaching hospitals in communities across the country in order to address the national shortages of pediatricians. Children’s freestanding teaching hospitals train 40 percent of all pediatricians in the country and 43 percent of all pediatric specialists.
“For more than 10 years, the CHGME program has been critical in helping Nationwide Children’s turnout a generation of pediatricians and pediatric specialists through innovative programs,” said Steve Allen, MD, chief executive officer of Nationwide Children’s Hospital. “The House vote affirms the work that we’ve done and continues an important investment in children’s health care.”
Enacted in 1999 under the Clinton administration with broad bi-partisan support, the CHGME program is intended to provide children’s teaching hospitals with federal support comparable to what other teaching hospitals receive through Medicare. The program helped correct an unintentional inequity in GME financing. Before the enactment of CHGME, the number of residents in children’s hospitals’ residency programs had declined. The enactment of CHGME has enabled children’s hospitals to reverse this trend and to increase their training by 35 percent. This reversal has helped combat pediatric specialist shortages across the country.
Earlier this month the Senate Health, Education, Labor & Pensions (HELP) Committee unanimously voted in support of S. 958, its bill to reauthorize CHGME program. The bill, introduced in May of this year by Sens. Bob Casey (D-PA) and Johnny Isakson (R-GA), moves to a floor vote not yet scheduled.
The National Association of Children’s Hospitals (N.A.C.H.) is the public policy affiliate of the National Association of Children’s Hospitals and Related Institutions. Representing more than 140 freestanding acute care children’s hospitals, freestanding children’s rehabilitation and specialty hospitals, and children’s hospitals organized within larger medical centers, N.A.C.H. addresses public policy issues affecting children’s hospitals’ missions of service to the children of their communities, including clinical care, education, research and advocacy.