Medicare to cut payments to physicians, while medical schools get boost in Obama’s 2015 budget
Some organizations are critical of Obama’s cuts to teaching hospitals for doctor training and complex care
President Barack Obama is proposing increased funding toward medical school programs for internal medicine, pediatrics, and family medicine in his 2015 budget proposal.
In total, the funding would add $5.23 billion over 10 years to train primary care residents in underserved areas. The program aims to increase the primary care workforce by 13,000 doctors.
The American College of Physicians (ACP) released a statement requesting that Congress cooperate with Obama in order to decrease the growing need for primary care physicians in the United States.
“The proposal shows an understanding of the important role that primary care places in ensuring access to high quality and cost-conscious care. Studies show that the United States will need at least 40,000 more primary care physicians for adults by the end of the decade to meet current and anticipated demand,” says Molly Cooke, MD, FACP, president of ACP.
Obama’s proposal also aims to extend Medicaid parity payments for primary care physicians for another year at the cost of $5.44 billion. If it expires, Medicaid payments will drop at the end of 2014.
The president is also requesting $3.95 billion to increase the National Health Service Corps, which give scholarships and loan forgiveness to primary care physicians who commit to working in underserved communities for a period of time.
However, some organizations are critical of Obama’s cuts to teaching hospitals for doctor training and complex care. The proposal includes nearly $15 billion in cuts to those programs at a time where physician shortages continue to cripple healthcare, according to the Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC).