Federal bill would boost residency training slots

Three Senators have introduced a bill that would work to hold off expected physician shortages by adding another 15,000 Medicare-supported residency training slots.

The number of resident positions had been frozen at 1996 levels since the passage of the Balanced Budget Act of 1997 (a decision some might call penny wise but pound foolish given the encroaching shortage). The new act would add 15 percent to the total number of slots, however. Any unused slots would be redirected to institutions where they are needed.

The main idea behind the legislation is to increase the number of residency positions available for primary care, general surgery and positions in non-hospital settings like community health facilities. The measure is supported by the Association of American Medical Colleges and the American Osteopathic Association.

To learn more about the bill:
- read this Modern Healthcare piece (reg. req.)

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