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January 10, 2022

AACOM in Action

What You Need to Know

CMS Releases Regulations for 1,000 New GME Slots; OME Priorities Included

 

On December 17, 2021, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) issued the second part to its fiscal year (FY) 2022 Inpatient Prospective Payment System rule. The final rule establishes policies to distribute 1,000 new Medicare-funded graduate medical education (GME) positions beginning in FY23, the largest increase in residency slots in more than 25 years. The rule also addresses the resident rotator issue and eases rural training track requirements.

 

Multiple are included in the final rule because of direct outreach to CMS by AACOM and more than a dozen colleges of osteopathic medicine, as well as osteopathic GME professionals, residents and students. These priorities include:

  • Reserving at least 10 percent of the new GME slots for rural areas;
  • Maintaining the hospital eligibility criteria to apply for the new GME slots;
  • Increasing maximum award sizes to 5.0 full-time equivalents per hospital per year; and
  • Adjusting application deadlines for qualifying hospitals to apply for the new GME slots.

CMS is also seeking comments by February 25 on specific provisions in the final rule. AACOM intends to recommend further changes to benefit the osteopathic medical education (OME) community. For more information, .

Apply Now: AACOM 2022 Osteopathic Health Policy Internship

Kaitlyn Thomas, AACOM's most recent OHPI, discusses the impact the internship will have on her career and the reasons why all osteopathic medical students should consider applying. .

AACOM Government Relations (GR) is currently accepting applications for the 2022-2023 , a unique eight-week virtual internship for osteopathic medical students.

  • Interns will strengthen AACOM GR’s federal advocacy efforts and develop knowledge of federal healthcare and higher education policy.
  • Each OHPI will gain first-hand experience working virtually at the national level where they will be immersed in policy development, analysis and implementation.
  • Applications are due Friday, February 11, 2022 at 11:59 PM ET. .

AACOM Advocates

 

Tell Congress to Pass DO GME Parity Legislation in 2022!

Let’s make it our resolution for 2022 to ensure that federally funded GME programs do not discriminate against DOs. Medicare accounts for 71 percent of all GME funding. Yet more than 20 percent of Medicare GME programs will not accept DO graduates or impose costly, burdensome and unnecessary requirements for DO participation. These practices exacerbate the workforce shortage by limiting access to osteopathic physicians. Join the OME community in urging Congress to pass legislation to ensure that all residency programs are open to DO graduates.

Policy Update

Build Back Better Act Stalls in Senate

 

  • Following months of negotiations on President Biden’s key domestic priority, the Build Back Better (BBB) Act, Senator Joe Manchin (D-WV) indicated he cannot support the package in its current form. All 50 Democratic senators must vote for the bill to move it forward, given unanimous Republican opposition.
  • The House-passed version contained many AACOM priorities, including 4,000 new Medicare-funded residency slots focused on primary care and rural training and $3.37 billion for the Teaching Health Center Graduate Medical Education Program, along with other .
  • Reports indicate negotiation on BBB will pick back up in the coming weeks. to include AACOM priorities in the final version of BBB.

Biden Administration Extends Student Loan Payment Freeze Until May

 

  • On December 23, 2021, the U.S. Department of Education (ED) it is extending the pause on student loan repayment, interest and collections to May 1, 2022.
  • AACOM for policies that ease the significant financial burden faced by healthcare professionals as they respond to the COVID-19 pandemic and future public health crises.
  • ED estimates that the pause will affect 41 million borrowers. .

ED Negotiated Rulemaking Committee Reaches Consensus

 

  • Last month, ED’s concluded months of debate over more than a dozen regulatory issues impacting higher education and Title IV federal financial aid, reaching agreement on only four topics.
  • Among the unresolved issues is expansion of the Public Service Loan Forgiveness (PSLF) Program. AACOM provided PSLF and will continue to engage on this topic.
  • ED will move forward with the regulatory proposals on which the committee agreed while the future of the unresolved issues remains uncertain.

Carole Johnson to Lead HRSA

 

  • The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Secretary recently as the new administrator of the Heath Resources and Services Administration (HRSA).
  • Johnson served on the White House Domestic Policy Council during the Obama Administration, later transitioning to commissioner of the New Jersey Department of Human Services. Most recently, Johnson was testing coordinator for the White House COVID-19 Response Team.

ED Announces New PSLF Servicer

 

  • In late December, ED named the Missouri Higher Education Loan Authority (MOHELA) as the new servicer for the PSLF Program.
  • If you are enrolled in PSLF, you will remain with FedLoan Servicing until transferred to MOHELA later this year. .

Engagement and Resources

Reminder: Attend AACOM and AIAMC's Joint Program on Growing GME: On January 18, join AACOM and the Alliance of Independent Academic Medical Centers for a half-day virtual conference that explores methods to succeed in expanding GME. Presenters include Captain Paul Jung, MD, MPH, MBA, director, Division of Medicine and Dentistry, HRSA, Bureau of Health Workforce; Dave Bergman, JD, VP, GR, AACOM; Julie Crockett, director of government relations, AACOM; and Jordan Vivian, associate director of government relations, AACOM. .

Upcoming Q&As for the NHSC Loan Repayment Programs: HRSA will hold a series of Q&A sessions for interested applicants to the 2022 National Health Service Corps (NHSC) Loan Repayment Programs on January 11, 14, 18 and February 1 from 9 AM – 5 PM ET. The deadline to apply has been extended to February 3, 2022, at 7:30 PM ET. In 2021, the NHSC selected more than 200 DOs to participate, and eligible osteopathic physicians are encouraged to apply. For more information, visit the .

NIDA Research Priorities: The National Institute on Drug Abuse published FY22 research priorities for its extramural research divisions. Questions about a specific research area and advice on the application process should be directed to the program official. .

Rural Healthcare Funding Available: HRSA is currently accepting applications for its Small Health Care Provider Quality Improvement Program, which awards up to $200,000 to support the planning and implementation of quality improvement activities in rural communities. HRSA will hold a on January 26 from 2 PM – 3 PM ET. .

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

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