The purpose of the Children’s Hospitals Graduate Medical Education (CHGME) program has been to provide independent children’s teaching hospitals with equitable GME support, similar to that received by other (adult care) hospitals/systems through the Medicare program. Since the first funding was received in 2000 (started in 1999), children’s hospitals have proven that CHGME has been a tremendous success. CHGME has enabled children’s hospitals to reverse reductions in pediatric training begun in the 1990s and accounts for more than 67% of the growth in the number of new pediatric subspecialists being trained nationwide. We still have a long way to go as there is still a significant shortage of pediatric specialists.
Independent teaching children's hospitals like Dayton Children’s are the backbone of the nation's pediatric training system. While we are only 1% of all hospitals, independent children’s hospitals, like Dayton Children’s, train nearly 30% of all pediatricians, nearly half of all pediatric sub-specialists, and a majority of pediatric researchers in the country. In addition, we are our communities' pediatric safety net and the leading pediatric resource. Federal CHGME funds are critical to our hospital’s ability to maintain our strong pediatric academic program with partners like Wright State University Boonshoft School of Medicine and the United States Air Force.
Like the other freestanding, independent children’s hospitals in Ohio and across the nation, Dayton Children’s devotes 50% of our patient care to children assisted by Medicaid and resulting in significant financial losses. By helping Dayton Children’s maintain a strong teaching program, CHGME allows the hospital to focus other resources on critical services such as patient care for low-income patients and needed specialty care programs.
One example of the impact is the Children’s Health Clinic at Dayton Children’s which is the main primary care clinic that provides resident training. There are over 16,400 patient encounters a year in this clinic which serves a population that is 90% Medicaid. Without the work of the residents, this clinic would not be able to function and these families would not have a medical home which would be a major problem for the healthcare safety net in the Dayton/Montgomery County, Ohio area.
Cuts in the program, which was designed only to try to give children’s hospitals a level of federal GME support that begins to approach what other teaching (adult care) hospitals receive through Medicare, would be a serious setback for all children and all the programs at independent children’s hospitals like Dayton Children’s.
Last year Dayton Children’s received over $2.5 Million in CHGME funding; our costs for training residents in FY2010 were $4.55 million. Should cuts to this program stand, we would certainly have to look for ways to meet our mission within the given resources and that would mean a reduction in services and potential jobs.
There is something that you can do to help Dayton Children's maintain our CHGME funding. Write your legislators and let them know the value of pediatric training at Dayton Children's. Together we can make a difference in protecting this vital program.
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