Medical Schools Scramble To Address Doctor Shortage
The Wall Street Journal: "Proponents of the new health-care law say it does attempt to address the physician shortage. The law offers sweeteners to encourage more people to enter medical professions, and a 10% Medicare pay boost for primary-care doctors. Meanwhile, a number of new medical schools have opened around the country recently."
"There are about 110,000 resident positions in the U.S., according to the AAMC [Association of American Medical Colleges]. Teaching hospitals rely heavily on Medicare funding to pay for these slots. In 1997, Congress imposed a cap on funding for medical residencies, which hospitals say has increasingly hurt their ability to expand the number of positions." The health care law did not include a provision to increase the number of funded residency slots, but it does allow medical colleges and hospitals to "pool the funding for unused slots and redistribute it to other institutions, with the majority of these slots going to primary-care or general-surgery residencies. The slot redistribution, in effect, will create additional residencies" (Sataline and Wang, 4/12).This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.