Lawmakers introduce bill to fund more medical residency slots to combat physician shortage, opioid crisis

by Heather Landi | Nov 21, 2019

Senate and House lawmakers introduced a bill that would fund 1,000 additional medical residency positions in the next five years to address an anticipated physician shortage and to combat the ongoing opioid crisis.

The Opioid Workforce Act of 2019 (S. 2892/H.R. 3414) would fund additional Medicare-supported graduate medical education positions in hospitals that have or are in the process of establishing approved residency programs in addiction medicine, addiction psychiatry or pain management.

The bill is being led in the House by Representatives Brad Schneider, D-Illinois; Susan Brooks, R-Indiana; Elise Stefanik, R-New York; and Ann Kuster, D-New Hampshire; and in the Senate by Sens. Maggie Hassan, D-New Hampshire, and Susan Collins, R-Maine.

Funding these new residency positions would significantly strengthen the health care workforce that serves on the front lines of the opioid epidemic and improve patient access to care, David Skorton, M.D., Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC) president and CEO, said in a statement.

A bill introduced earlier this year, the Resident Physician Shortage Reduction Act of 2019, is also awaiting action in both the Senate and the House of Representatives. It would gradually provide 15,000 Medicare-supported residency positions over a five-year period starting in 2021.


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Chris J. Stewart

Chris currently serves as Chief Operating Officer at Ortho Spine Partners. Prior to that, he was the assistant vice president and business unit leader of Medical Device Management for HealthTrust.

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