Advocacy Update

January 30, 2023

In this Issue:

CMS Announces First Distribution of 200 GME Slots for Medical Residents in Underserved Areas

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) announced the first award of 200 Medicare-supported graduate medical education (GME) slots. These 200 are part of the 1,000 GME slots that Congress created as part of the Consolidation Appropriations Act of 2021. They will be available for the 2023 residency program effective July 1. Although the workforce issues facing pathology and laboratory medicine are complex, additional GME funding is an important foundation for medicine.

One hundred teaching hospitals in 30 states, the District of Columbia, and Puerto Rico received awards in this year’s distribution. To be eligible for these additional full-time employee medical resident slots, a hospital must qualify in at least one of the following four categories:

  • Must be in rural areas (or treated as being in a rural area under the law)
  • Training a number of residents in excess of their GME cap
  • In states with new medical schools or branch campuses
  • Serve areas designated as health professional shortage areas

Additionally, no hospital can receive more than 25 full time equivalent resident cap slots. The application cycle for the second round of 200 slots for fiscal year 2024 is currently open and will remain open until March 31, 2023.

CAP and Over 100 Health Care Groups Ask Congress for Substantive Medicare Payment Reform

The CAP joined the American Medical Association (AMA) and over 100 organizations asking Congress to address substantive Medicare payment reform. The group asked Congress to hold hearings and work with stakeholders on exploring long-term payment solutions.

In the January 23 letter, the group said “Congress has a unique opportunity to adopt comprehensive, transformative reforms to the Medicare payment system over the next several years. Such reform is imperative to sustaining medical practices and ensuring a robust workforce to care for the growing number of America’s seniors.”

An intense lobbying effort by the CAP and a coalition of physician groups, including the AMA, convinced Congress to mitigate Medicare cuts in 2023. The CAP and the physician groups lobbied lawmakers to mitigate the impact of the Medicare cuts, stemming from the program’s policy to increase payment for evaluation and management services. The CAP, for example, had been lobbying Congress to stop this cut since the CAP’s Hill Day in May. But the CAP and the group want Congress to provide substantive Medicare Payment reform.

The CAP will continue to advocate for a Medicare payment system that incentivizes high-value care for seniors, appropriately compensates pathologists.

FDA COVID-19 EUA Policies Will Remain After Public Health Emergency Ends in May

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) recently announced that the COVID-19 Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) policies would remain in effect after the COVID-19 Public Health Emergency declaration ends mid-April. The Director of the FDA Office of In Vitro Diagnostics and Radiological Health, Timothy Stenzel, MD, PhD, FCAP, announced that the FDA has an independent authority to end EUAs under the public health emergency.

On January 30, President Biden announced that the COVID-19 public health emergency will end on May 11. By extending the emergency, states and Medicaid services will continue with affiliated waivers for various sectors of the US health care system until May 11.

The CAP will provide additional information as it becomes available.

Last Week to Test Your January Advocacy News Savvy

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