Nationwide Children’s Hospital applauds the U.S. House for passage of S. 1557, the Children’s Hospital GME Support Reauthorization Act of 2013. The bipartisan bill advances children’s health by reauthorizing the Children’s Hospitals Graduate Medical Education (CHGME) program through 2018.
The CHGME program provides federal support for the training of pediatricians and pediatric specialists at independent children’s teaching hospitals across the country and is vital to maintain a robust pediatric workforce. The Senate passed S. 1557 in November and House passage of the bill yesterday evening marks the last step in making CHGME reauthorization a reality before President Obama signs the bill into law.
“Nationwide Children’s Hospital is grateful to Ohio’s Representatives and Senators for their strong, bipartisan leadership for children’s hospitals graduate medical education,” said Steve Allen, MD, chief executive officer of Nationwide Children’s. “The dedication of Ohio’s Congressional delegation to its children’s hospitals is vital to our ability to address pediatric workforce shortages in primary and specialty care areas and assure access to quality care for children. Ohio members in Congress were at the forefront in creating this program in 1999 and have remained national leaders on behalf of this effective child health program.”
“Since this program was created, it has allowed us to double our number of trainees and more than quadruple our residency and fellowship programs in critically needed areas such as child neurology, pediatric endocrinology and pediatric rehabilitation,” said Dr. Allen.
Nationwide Children’s also recognizes the leadership of Reps. Joseph Pitts (R-PA) and Frank Pallone (D-NJ), and Sens. Robert P. Casey Jr. (D-PA) and Johnny Isakson (R-GA), the lead sponsors of CHGME reauthorization in their respective chambers.
CHGME is authorized by the newly enacted legislation to receive up to $300 million annually. In 2013, CHGME was funded at $251 million and brought $7 million last year to Nationwide Children’s.
CHGME protects children’s access to high-quality medical care by providing independent children’s hospitals with funding to support the training of pediatric providers, much as Medicare supports training in adult teaching hospitals. Since its enactment in 1999 to address the gap in federal support for pediatric training, CHMGE has increased the number of pediatric providers, addressed critical shortages in pediatric specialty care, and improved children’s access to care. Nationally 55 hospitals in 29 states and the District of Columbia participate in the program, which supports the training of more than 6,000 resident physicians annually. The CHGME hospitals, less than one percent of all hospitals in the nation, train 49 percent of all pediatricians and 51 percent of all pediatric specialists.