New legislation has been introduced in Congress that would reauthorize more than $1.5 billion in grants pediatric hospitals receive to train medical residents, reports AHA News Now.
The bills, H.R. 1852 and S. 958, have bipartisan sponsorship. They would reauthorize the Children's Hospitals Graduate Medical Education program for the next five years. The program would provide about $330 million a year to pediatric teaching hospitals.
Altogether, 56 children's hospitals in 30 states would receive the funding, based on formulas pegged to their patient population, complexity of care, patient volume and level of teaching intensity. The current qualifying hospitals train more than 40 percent of the nation's general pediatricians, 43 percent of pediatric specialists and more than half of the researchers who work in pediatric medicine.
The program has been in effect since the 1990s. It is particularly crucial for pediatric facilities because they have virtually no volume of Medicare revenue, meaning they do not qualify for the more traditional indirect and direct graduate medical education funding.