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Monday, April 22, 2013

LEGISLATURE INVESTING MORE IN GME

The state House and Senate are both moving forward on bills to expand graduate medical education (GME) slots in Texas. The measures are intended to help keep graduating medical students — in whom the state has invested an average of $170,000 each — in Texas. The Senate passed Senate Bill 143 by Sen. Jane Nelson (R-Flower Mound), which is the vehicle for allocating $11.5 million in the 2014-15 state budget for GME expansion. It would establish a new grant program to encourage the development of new GME positions/programs. The bill also offers GME planning grants to help develop new hospital training partners for Texas’ medical schools that may be eligible to receive Medicare GME funding. It also establishes two primary care incentive programs for medical schools and expands the Physician Education Loan Repayment Program to allow participation by physicians who provide services to Medicaid and Women’s Health Program patients. Later this week, the House is scheduled to take up House Bill 1025 by Rep. Jim Pitts (R-Waxahachie). That measure, for now at least, would invest $17 million in GME expansion over and above the House-passed budget.

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