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December 20, 2022

AACOM in Action

What You Need to Know

Spending Bill Advances OME Priorities

 

Last night, December 20, 2022, the House and Senate unveiled , the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2023, a 4,000+ page bill to fund the government for fiscal year (FY) 2023. While a more comprehensive analysis of the omnibus spending bill will be coming in the new year, AACOM had several things to celebrate.

 

  • The Joint Explanatory Statement (JES) accompanying the FY23 Military Construction, Veterans Affairs and Related Agencies Appropriations Act included new language highlighting the need for more research on the impact of OMT to treat veteran pain. AACOM and our colleges of osteopathic medicine (COMs) lobbied hard for this language and were pleased to see it in the final conference report.
    • Additionally, given the potential of osteopathic manipulative treatment (OMT) to treat back and other pain, the Department is directed to track utilization of OMT among veterans seeking care and provide a report to the Committees within 120 days of enactment of this Act on the use of OMT. The Department is further urged to develop a mechanism to track outcomes of this treatment. (, page 46)
  • The for the Departments of Labor, Health and Human Services, Education, and Related Agencies (LHHSE) Appropriations Act incorporated by reference language from the LHHSE (page 154) that acknowledged the benefits of osteopathic research and requested a status update from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) on funding and representation for COMs. This language was an extension of congressional intent provided in the FY22 LHHSE report and another legislative priority for AACOM and our COMs.
    • Osteopathic Medical Schools.—The Committee recognizes that increased access to research funding for the osteopathic profession will bolster NIH’s capacity to support recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic, address health disparities in rural and medically-underserved populations, and advance research in primary care, prevention, and treatment. The Committee requests an update on the current status of NIH funding to colleges of osteopathic medicine and representation of doctors of osteopathic medicine on NIH National Advisory Councils and standing study sections in the fiscal year 2024 Congressional Justification.
  • The omnibus included 200 new psychiatry residency positions to address workforce shortages in behavioral and mental health. Congress allocated 10 percent for hospitals in rural areas, operating above the cap and in states with a new medical school, branch campus or additional location. AACOM advocated for up to 1,000 new slots but is pleased to see the increase.

AACOM Lauds FY23 Funding Increases

 

Congress increased appropriations for many osteopathic medical education (OME) priority agencies and programs, from the NIH and Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) to the National Health Service Corps and Area Health Education Centers. Stay tuned for a more detailed analysis in the next Washington Insider.

Agency / Program FY23 Omnibus Change from FY22 Enacted

HRSA (Discretionary)

$9.7 billion

$852 million (9.5%) increase

Title VII Health Professions Programs

$579.3 million

$60.6m increase

Children's Hospital Graduate Medical Education (CHGME)

$385 million

$10m (2.7%) increase

National Health Service Corps (NHSC)

$125.6 million

$4m (3.3%) increase

Medical Student Education

$60 million

$5m (9.1%) increase

Scholarships for Disadvantaged Students (SDS)

$55 million

-

Primary Care Training and Enhancement (PCTE)

$49.9 million

$1m (2%) increase

Geriatrics Education Centers (GECs)

$47.2 million

$2m (4.4%) increase

Area Health Education Centers (AHECs)

$47 million

$2m (4.4%) increase

Centers for Excellence (COE)

$28.4 million

$4m (16.4%) increase

Public Health Workforce Development (Public Health and Preventive Medicine)

$18 million

$1m (5.9%) increase

Health Careers Opportunity Program (HCOP)

$16 million

$550k (3.5%) increase

Rural Residency Planning and Development Program

$12.5 million

$2m (19%) increase

Pediatric Subspecialty LRP

$10 million

$5m (100%) increase

National Institutes of Health (NIH)

$47.5 billion

$2.5b (5.6%) increase

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)

$9.2 billion

$760m (8.9%) increase

Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration

$7.5 billion

$970 (14.8%) million increase

Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ)

$375 million

$23.1m (6.6%) increase

 

AACOM Advocates

The FAIR Act – A Step in the Right Direction

Benjamin Maxwell Jump, fourth-year student at the Lincoln Memorial University - DeBusk College of Osteopathic Medicine, advocates for the Fair Access in Residency (FAIR) Act (H.R. 8850) to advance equity, ease burnout and address our nation’s physician shortage. about what motivates him to take action and join him in for the FAIR Act today!

FAIR Act Gains Congressional Support – Continue the Momentum!

Your advocacy is making a difference and the number of FAIR Act cosponsors is growing. Through collaboration with the Maine Osteopathic Association, Rep. Jared Golden (D-ME) recently signed on as a cosponsor of the FAIR Act. Join us and continue the progress toward ensuring that Medicare-funded residency programs accept DO applications and the COMLEX-USA. Act now to urge your Members of Congress to cosponsor the FAIR Act (H.R. 8850) or introduce a Senate companion bill.

Policy Update

Warnock Win Gives Democrats Full Control of the Senate

 

  • On December 6, 2022, Senator Raphael Warnock (D-GA) defeated Republican challenger Herschel Walker in a close runoff election. The runoff, the second in two years, was needed because neither candidate met Georgia’s required 50 percent threshold in the general election.
  • Warnock’s victory gives Democrats a 51-49 majority in the Senate, a net gain of one seat in the 2022 elections. Democrats will now have sole control of the chamber, chairing committees and more easily setting agendas and approving nominees.
  • After the conclusion of the runoff election, the Georgia Secretary of State asked the state legislature to take steps to eliminate the need for future general election runoffs, citing expense and voter exhaustion.
  • Adding another layer to the Senate election outcome, former Democratic Senator Kyrsten Sinema of Arizona switched party registration to Independent soon after the runoff. She will continue to caucus with the Democratic party so her new party affiliation will not impact Democrat control or her committee assignments.

Senate Passes National Defense Authorization Act

 

  • Last Thursday, the Senate passed the FY23 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA). The bill authorizes nearly $858 billion in funding for defense programs across several departments and agencies, with approximately $817 billion authorized for the Department of Defense.
  • The NDAA includes reporting requirements on topics related to the OME community, including reports on medical manpower requirements and the composition of medical personnel in each military department.
  • Though it sets spending levels, the NDAA requires Congress to pass an annual spending bill to appropriate funds. Congressmembers just reached agreement on the year-end funding bill with defense appropriations (review pending) and must pass it before the December 23, 2022 deadline.

Engagement and Resources

OSU Awarded Federal Grants for Adverse Childhood Experiences Research and Native American Student Recruitment and Training: The Oklahoma State University (OSU) Center for Health Sciences Center for Integrative Research on Childhood Adversity was recently awarded from the NIH for phase two of its program that supports research of adverse childhood experiences. A grant from the HRSA Centers for Excellence was also recently awarded to the OSU Center for Health Sciences to fund new and existing programs aimed at recruiting and preparing Native American undergraduate students to enter medical school.

Governor Justice Recognizes WVSOM on Founders Day: During its inaugural Founders Day celebration on December 12, 2022, West Virginia Governor Jim Justice praised the West Virginia School of Osteopathic Medicine for helping the state weather the COVID-19 pandemic and for its estimated $1.5 billion annual economic impact on West Virginia. “You all do incredible work here,” Justice said. “If you think of your accomplishments, it is unbelievable. It became this incredible osteopathic story. You have produced the best of the best. … Now, go on and keep doing all the goodness that you've already done and I'll try in every way I possibly can to stand behind you, to support you and to be your No. 1 advocate.” Justice’s office also issued a proclamation declaring December 12 to be West Virginia School of Osteopathic Medicine Founders Day in the Mountain State. .

Osteopathic Medical Students: Reminder to Apply Now for the 2023-24 Osteopathic Health Policy Internship: AACOM is currently accepting applications for the 2023-2024 , a unique eight-week virtual internship for osteopathic medical students. Each OHPI will gain first-hand experience working virtually at the national level where they will be immersed in health and higher education policy development, analysis and implementation. Interns will actively participate in building support for AACOM’s policy priorities, including the FAIR Act (H.R. 8850), increasing NIH funding for osteopathic researchers and more. Applications are due Friday, February 17, 2023 at 11:59 PM ET. .

Webinar on Midterm Election Results and Analysis: On December 5, 2022, AACOM hosted a about the and what they mean for our policy priorities. Political experts Rodney Whitlock, PhD, and Debra Curtis from McDermott+Consulting provided an overview of the new Congress and what the political landscape means for the future of OME. Vice President of AACOM Government Relations, David Bergman, moderated a Q&A session following the presentation.

Visit AACOM's for federal grants of interest to osteopathic medical education.

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