The AHA today voiced support for the Resident Physician Shortage Reduction Act of 2021 (S. 834), legislation that would add 14,000 Medicare-funded residency positions to alleviate physician shortages that threaten patients’ access to care.
The bill would add 2,000 positions per year over seven years, targeting a portion to hospitals in rural areas, hospitals serving patients from health professional shortage areas, hospitals in states with new medical schools or branch campuses, and hospitals already training over their caps.
“We believe this approach responsibly addresses the nation’s urgent need for additional physicians,” AHA said in a letter of support to the bill’s sponsors, Sens. Bob Menendez, D-N.J., John Boozman, R-Ark., and Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y. “We also applaud you for directing the Government Accountability Office to recommend to Congress strategies for increasing the diversity of the health professions workforce.”
The legislation would build on the 1,000 new Medicare-supported graduate medical education positions Congress provided at the end of 2020, the first in nearly 25 years.