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Congressman Gene Green

Representing the 29th District of Texas

Green’s Bill to Reauthorize the Children’s Hospital Graduate Medical Education (CHGME) Program Passes House

July 23, 2018
Press Release

WASHINGTON, DC – Today, the House of Representatives passed the Dr. Benjy Frances Brooks Children’s Hospital GME Support Reauthorization Act of 2018 (H.R. 5385). The bill, which is sponsored by Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Health Ranking Member Gene Green (D-TX) and Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Health Chairman Michael Burgess, M.D. (R-TX), will reauthorize the Children’s Hospital Graduate Medical Education (CHGME) program for the next five years at $325 million – a $25 million increase.

The Children’s Hospital Graduate Medical Education (CHGME) program provides direct financial support to children’s hospitals to train medical residents and fellows. Hospitals typically receive support for graduate medical education (GME) through Medicare, and those payments are provided to hospitals based on their Medicare patient volume. Because the Medicare program is used primarily by people who are over the age of 65, and children’s hospitals treat primarily people below the age of 18, children’s hospitals have low Medicare patient volume and receive few Medicare GME payments.

“A robust pediatric workforce is essential to ensuring that no child lacks access to high-quality medical care,” said Rep. Green. “The CHGME recipient hospitals represent less than one percent of all hospitals, yet train half of all the nation’s pediatricians and pediatric specialists. Reauthorizing CHGME represents a commitment to ensuring that children throughout the country have access to the quality care they need. The current authorization will expire at the end of the current fiscal year, so it is important that we reauthorize this important program.”

“Our children deserve the best care available to them, and ensuring we have an adequately-prepared pediatric workforce is the first step in providing quality health care,” said Dr. Burgess. “The bipartisan Dr. Benjy Frances Brooks Children’s Hospital GME Support Reauthorization Act of 2018 will ensure that children in Texas and around the country continue to have access to these specialized physicians. It is an honor to sponsor this vital legislation named for Dr. Benjy Frances Brooks – an iconic North Texan pediatric surgeon who broke barriers each day with her work to help children, train future physicians, and provide innovative care.”    

Similar legislation has been introduced in the Senate by Senators Bob Casey (D-PA) and Johnny Isakson (R-GA).

Text of the bill can be read HERE.

Background on Dr. Benjy Frances Brooks

Dr. Brooks who was the first pediatric surgeon in Texas in 1958. She was raised in Lewisville, Texas, and received her M.D. from the UT Medical Branch in Galveston and performed pediatric surgery at Texas Children’s Hospital and St. Joseph’s Hospital in Houston. In 1973, she joined the newly formed University of Texas Medical School as a tenured full professor and established the Division of Pediatric Surgery, which she headed for the next 10 years.