McMorris Rodgers Introduces Bill to Promote Doctor Training at Spokane Medical Schools

Bipartisan Bill Would Create Alternate
Payment Model for Graduate Medical Education;
Bolster Spokane’s Medical Sector

Washington, D.C. – Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-WA) and Rep. Mike Thompson (D-CA), Co-Chairs of the Congressional Rural Health Caucus, introduced the Primary Care Workforce Access Improvement Act today.  This bipartisan bill would promote the training of primary care doctors in rural communities by allocating a portion of Graduate Medical Education (GME) funding go toward the implementation of a pilot project.

“I am proud to introduce this bill which will bolster our community’s efforts to make Spokane a national hub for graduate medical education and improve the quality of care for our citizens – particularly in rural areas,” said Rep. McMorris Rodgers.  “If we want the brightest doctors of America’s future to learn and practice right here in Spokane, this bill will help make that happen.  I also want to thank my Co-Chair, Congressman Thompson, for his leadership and teamwork.  We will continue to work together to pass this bill and have it signed into law.”  

The non-partisan Congressional Budget Office (CBO) has documented a need for GME pilot programs in previous years.  Under the McMorris Rodgers/Thompson bill, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) would recognize four community-based medical education entity models to receive and distribute GME funding for primary care.  Payments would be made in the same manner as the current GME payment process to hospitals but to the medical education entity.  The pilot project is budget neutral and terminates in five years.  

“We believe this would be of great value to the state of Washington, the other states in the WWAMI region, and the nation,” said Dr. Sam Cullison, President of the University of Washington Family Medicine Residency Network (WWAMI).  Today’s bill was also endorsed by the Council of Academic Family Medicine.  

The Congresswoman delivered a House floor speech today advocating for her bill.  To watch her speech, click here.

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