Geiger Gibson/RCHN Community Health Foundation Research Collaborative issuing body.
Geiger Gibson Program in Community Health Policy, issuing body.
George Washington University, issuing body.
Milken Institute School of Public Health, issuing body.
[Washington, D.C.] : Milken Institute School of Public Health, George Washington University, March 2019
The federal and state governments invest over $15 billion annually to support graduate medical education (GME) programs that train future physicians, but there have been numerous calls to reform the system. The Teaching Health Center Graduate Medical Education (THCGME) program is an innovative GME initiative, begun in 2011, to increase the number of primary care residents training in community-based ambulatory care sites, particularly in medically underserved settings. Authorization and funding for the program expire September 30, 2019. The President's proposed FY2020 budget includes mandatory funding to continue THCs for an additional two years. Definitive research about the long-term cost savings associated with the THCGME program is not yet available. But it is possible to identify areas where Teaching Health Center (THC) training can be expected to produce savings. During residency training, THC residents provide patient care in medically underserved settings. Based on recent research demonstrating overall health care cost savings when patients are served in community health centers, the patient care provided by THC residents could yield up to $288 million in Medicaid and Medicare savings between 2019 and 2023. After residency training, evidence demonstrates that physicians who trained in cost-efficient geographic areas continue to provide lower-cost care in their post-residency practice. In community health centers, five classes of THC graduates could yield up to $238 million in Medicare savings and $1.2 billion in Medicaid savings over 5 years, from 2019 to 2023. The THCGME program has the potential to yield up to $1.8 billion in public program savings--an estimated $1.5 billion in Medicaid savings and $284 million in Medicare savings--over the 5-year 2019-2023 time period.
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