GME: A “black box”

The following is a guest post by Allan Joseph, a medical student at the Warren Alpert Medical School of Brown University and TIE research assistant. You can follow Allan on Twitter: @allanmjoseph.

One of the posts in this series prompted by the IOM’s report on GME was going to be a plea for more data — the biggest problem the IOM faced was that GME funding is horribly opaque. But then Pauline Chen posted an article in the New York Times today summarizing the plea for more openness in GME funding:

But committee members were stymied in their efforts to answer even the most basic questions regarding the amount Medicare has contributed to individual G.M.E. programs and the effect of those contributions…

[The] hospitals were under no obligation to Medicare to account for the quality of care provided by trainees, the places where their trainees eventually opened practices and the percentage of Medicare and Medicaid patients their graduates accepted into those practices.

Some of these training programs even lost track of how much Medicare money they received.

No matter your views on GME funding, we can all agree that it’s better to have a good look at the data than to make decisions blindly. Even the AAMC’s preferred bill includes more stringent reporting requirements — and the AAMC is the organization that represents medical training on Capitol Hill. When was the last time you heard a group’s lobbyists throw their weight behind a bill that required more reporting from that group? That’s how obvious this is.

Go read Chen’s whole piece. More to come on GME soon.


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