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November 15, 2021

AACOM in Action

What You Need to Know

OME Priorities Achieved in Reconciliation Package Ahead of House Vote

 

The latest version of the Build Back Better (BBB) Act, President Biden’s effort to pursue expansion of social programs through the reconciliation process, contains significant AACOM-supported priorities for osteopathic medical education (OME), notably:

  • 4,000 new Medicare-funded residency slots with a focus on primary care and rural training;
  • $3.37 billion for the Teaching Health Center Graduate Medical Education (THCGME) Program;
  • $2 billion for the National Health Service Corps (NHSC);
  • $500 million for schools of medicine in underserved areas;
  • $200 million for Children's Hospitals Graduate Medical Education Programs;
  • $20 million for palliative medicine physician training;
  • 500 new residency positions at the Department of Veterans Affairs; and
  • A new Rural and Underserved Pathway to Practice Training Program with 1,000 scholarships per year beginning in 2023.

For more information on these programs as well as other OME-relevant sections, read selected summaries .

 

On November 5, the House of Representatives overcame a key procedural hurdle for this version of the legislation, setting a vote for final passage later this month. As part of the agreement on setting a final vote, the House passed a $1.2 trillion bipartisan infrastructure bill that funds roads, bridges and other capital infrastructure, sending it to President Biden’s desk for signature. The Senate previously approved the infrastructure package in August.

 

The overall outlook on the BBB Act remains uncertain. Changes are expected during Senate consideration, where passage would require the unanimous agreement of all 50 Democratic senators.

 

AACOM Advocates

 

Celebrate National Rural Health Day by Supporting Rural GME

National Rural Health Day is on November 18, 2021. Join AACOM in supporting rural health and encourage Congress to pass the Rural Physician Workforce Production Act (S. 1893), which aims to increase the physician workforce in rural areas by equitably funding rural residency training.

 

Urge Congress to Support GME Parity for DOs

Tell Congress to ensure that all 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. As Congress considers legislation to expand GME training positions, we must ensure that all residency programs are open to DO graduates.

Policy Update

Biden Administration Delays Vaccine Mandates for Federal Contractors and Healthcare Facilities

 

  • Vaccine mandates for federal contractors will now go into effect January 4, 2022, a delay from the previous December 8 deadline.
  • with federal contracts or “contract-like instruments” valued above $250,000 will be required to ensure that their employees and subcontractors be vaccinated.
  • This change coincided with separate announcements from the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) and Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) establishing January 4 vaccine mandate deadlines.
  • The applies to both clinical and non-clinical employees, including students, trainees and volunteers who work at a facility that receives federal funding from Medicare or Medicaid.
  • The , which would apply to private companies with more than 100 employees, is currently halted following an emergency stay issued by the 5th U.S. Circuit of Appeals.

Engagement and Resources

Final Reminder: Osteopathic Medical Students Apply for NHSC S2S Program: Students in their final year of school may apply for the NHSC Students to Service Loan Repayment Program and receive up to $120,000 in loan repayment assistance. View AACOM’s exclusive for more information and by December 2 at 7:30 PM ET.

Applications Now Open for Three NHSC 2022 Loan Repayment Programs: Osteopathic physicians who commit to serve in Health Professional Shortage Areas may receive loan repayment through the NHSC Loan Repayment Program (LRP), Substance Use Disorder Workforce LRP and Rural Community LRP. A historic $800 million in American Rescue Plan funding will allow NHSC to award more applicants than ever before. Applications are due on December 16 at 7:30 PM ET.

Rural Integrated Healthcare Network Funding Now Available: The Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) is accepting applications until January 28, 2022 for funding under the Rural Health Network Development Planning Program to expand access and improve quality of care in rural communities.

Join Webinar on Healthcare Workforce Resilience: The HRSA Bureau of Health Workforce Grand Rounds Webinar Series will feature a webinar with physician wellness experts and highlight successful health professions resiliency initiatives on Tuesday, November 23 at 1:00-2:30 PM ET. CME credit may be available.

NIH Grants Promote Career Development: Apply now for the Clinical Research Education and Career Development Program, which aims to encourage individuals from diverse backgrounds, including those from groups underrepresented in the biomedical and behavioral sciences, to pursue further studies or careers in research. Applications are due by December 15.

Centers of Excellence Applications Now Open: HRSA is accepting applications until January 31, 2022 for funding under the Centers of Excellence Program, which supports the recruitment, training and retention of under-represented minority students and faculty at health professions schools.

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

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