Rep. Green’s Bill to Reauthorize the Children’s Hospital Graduate Medical Education (CHGME) Program Signed into Law
WASHINGTON, DC – President Donald Trump signed into law the Dr. Benjy Frances Brooks Children’s Hospital GME Support Reauthorization Act of 2018 (H.R. 5385) last night. The bill, introduced by Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Health Ranking Member Gene Green (D-TX) and sponsored by 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 per year – a $25 million increase over the current funding level.
The 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. “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 urgent that we reauthorize this important program.”
Text of the bill can be read HERE.
Background on Dr. Benjy Frances Brooks
Dr. Brooks 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.