California and New Jersey introduce GME Bills
What's the issue?
The Teaching Health Center Graduate Medical Education (GME) program began as a $230 million, 5-year initiative created by the Affordable Care Act of 2010 to increase the number of primary care residents and dentists trained in community-based settings. Assembly members from California and New Jersey introduced bills to establish or investigate opportunities to expand this initiative.
Assembly member Rob Bonta introduced
. Under this bill, the Office of Statewide Health Planning and Development and the State Department of Health Care Services would provide technical assistance in the following areas:
- Expanding primary care residency programs at Teaching Health Center Graduate Education Programs (THCGME)
- Maximizing federal funding of THCGME programs in federally qualified health centers and rural health clinics
- Helping Medi-Cal providers, mental community health centers, rural health clinics and the Indian Health Service and Title X family planning clinics that are looking to establish a primary care residency program
Assembly member Herb Conaway introduced
. This bill directs the Commissioner of Health and Senior Services to establish a strategic planning summit that is comprised of stakeholders from key state agencies including representatives from medical schools and teaching hospitals in the state. Objectives of the summit include:
- Evaluate the state's physician workforce supply.
- Review the possibility of redistributing or expanding the residency slots to address physician shortages within the state.
- Look at ways to add more community hospitals in resident rotations in family medicine, internal medicine and pediatric medicine.
Why is this important?
Physicians and dentists trained in health centers are more than three times as likely to work in a health center and more than twice as likely to work in an underserved area as those not trained at health centers.
These bills have the opportunity to reduce barriers to care for patients in underserved areas.