The Teaching Health Center Graduate Medical Education (THCGME) program may yield up to $1.8 billion in public program savings ($1.5 billion in Medicaid savings and $284 in Medicare savings) from 2019 to 2023, concludes a report released by researchers at the Geiger Gibson/RCHN Community Health Foundation Research Collaborative at the George Washington University Milken Institute School of Public Health.
The THCGME program, which began in 2011 and is administered by the Health Resources and Services Administration, aims to increase the number of primary care residents training in sites like community health centers. Currently, 56 Teaching Health Centers in 23 states train residents in primary care specialties like family medicine, internal medicine, and pediatrics.
Federal authorization and funding for the program expires on Sept. 30. President Trump’s proposed FY2020 budget includes two years of funding for teaching health centers. The new analysis shows how the program can reduce costs while providing high quality care in medically underserved locations.
“Community health centers and teaching health centers that train the next generation of physicians are a crucial component of efforts to strengthen and upgrade our nation’s health system, particularly for patients who live in communities where it is difficult to access medical care,” said Dr. Candice Chen, lead author of the analysis and an associate professor of health policy and management at GW Milken Institute SPH.Friday Letter Submission