The Congress should authorize the Secretary to change Medicare’s funding of graduate medical education (GME) to support the workforce skills needed in a delivery system that reduces cost growth while maintaining or improving quality.
- The Secretary should establish the standards for distributing funds after consultation with representatives that include accrediting organizations, training programs, health care organizations, health care purchasers, patients, and consumers.
- The standards established by the Secretary should, in particular, specify ambitious goals for practice-based learning and improvement, interpersonal and communication skills, professionalism, and systems-based practice, including integration of community-based care with hospital care.
- Performance-based GME funding under the new system should be allocated to an institution sponsoring GME programs only if that institution met the new standards established by the Secretary, and the level of funding would be tied to the institution’s performance on the standards.
The indirect medical education (IME) payments above the empirically justified amount should be removed from the IME adjustment and that sum would be used to fund the new performance-based GME program. To allow time for the development of standards, the new performance-based GME program should begin in three years (October 2013).