CONGRESSWOMAN ELISE STEFANIK
On Tuesday, September 20, 2011, the House is scheduled consider H.R. 1852 under a suspension of the rules, requiring a two-thirds majority vote for passage. The resolution was introduced by Rep. Joseph Pitts (R-PA) on May 11, 2011, and referred to the Committee on Energy & Commerce. On July 28, 2011, the Energy and Commerce Committee met in open markup session and ordered H.R. 1852 reported to the House, without amendment, by a voice vote.
H.R. 1852 would amend the Public Health Service Act to reauthorize support for graduate medical education programs in children's hospitals for five years, until 2016 at its current authorization level. In addition, the bill would move the deadline for the report on the program ahead by one year (to 2015).
According to the Committee on Energy & Commerce, “the Children's Hospital Graduate Medical Education Program (CHGME) was enacted in 1999 as part of the Healthcare Research and Quality Act (P.L. 106-129) to provide freestanding children's hospitals with discretionary Federal support for direct and indirect expenses associated with operating medical residency training programs.” CBO describes direct costs as “costs are those related to operating a medical education program, such as the salaries of medical students, while indirect costs are those intended to compensate hospitals for patient care costs that are expected to be higher in teaching hospitals than in non-teaching hospitals.”
The Committee explains further “since few children's hospitals receive Medicare funds, the legislation was designed to correct the exclusion of pediatric training in the Medicare GME program. CHGME provides funding to 56 hospitals in 30 states to support pediatric residency training. Today, freestanding children's hospitals train over 40% of pediatricians, 43% of pediatric specialists, and most pediatric researchers.
“On October 6, 2006, the CHGME Support Reauthorization Act (P.L. 109-307) was enacted and extended the program through FY 2011. H.R. 1852 extends the CHGME program again until 2016 at its current authorization level. The Report to Congress on the CHGME program was moved to year four, a year before the bill expires in 2016. The Report includes a summary of the annual reports prepared by the grantees as a requirement for funding. The Report details the types of residency programs, the number of training positions, types of training, any changes in residency training curriculum, a review of patient and safety care, and the number of residents who complete training. It also includes recommendations for how to improve the program.”
According to CBO, “H.R. 1852 would authorize the appropriation of $110 million a year for 2012 through 2016 for payment toward the direct costs of graduate medical education in children’s hospitals. The bill also would authorize the appropriation of $220 million a year for 2012 through 2016 for payment toward the indirect costs of graduate medical education programs.”
CBO estimates that implementing the bill would cost $248 million in 2012 and $1.57 billion over the 2012-2016 period, assuming the appropriation of the authorized amounts. Pay-as-you-go procedures do not apply to this legislation because it would not affect direct spending or revenues.