May 24,2024

Wyden, Bipartisan Finance Members Outline Proposal to Improve Medicare Physician Training to Reduce Workforce Shortages

Washington, D.C. – Senate Finance Committee Chair Ron Wyden, D-Ore., today along with seven bipartisan members of the Finance Committee released a policy outline describing improvements to the Medicare Graduate Medical Education (GME) program to address physician workforce shortages across the country, primarily related to primary care and psychiatry, and to improve the distribution of physicians to rural and underserved communities.

“It has become clear that there are not enough physicians to meet the health care needs of Americans,” the senators wrote. “As a bipartisan group of members of the Senate Finance Committee, which has jurisdiction over the Medicare Graduate Medical Education program, we are interested in advancing additional Medicare GME proposals to address health care workforce shortages and gaps.” 

The outline includes proposals to expand and improve the distribution of Medicare-supported GME residency training positions to rural areas and specialties in shortage, help rural hospitals with the infrastructure needed to support residency training programs and improve federal data collection to make sure that federal GME dollars are being used to train in specialties and geographic areas facing a physician shortage.

Joining Wyden on the draft proposal are Senators John Cornyn, R-Texas,  Robert Menendez, D-N.J., Bill Cassidy, R-La., Michael Bennet, D-Colo., Thom Tillis, R-N.C., Catherine Cortez Masto, D-Nev., and Marsha Blackburn, R-Tenn.

The full text of the policy outline can be found here.