Written by The Business Journal Staff
Two Congressmen from the Central Valley have introduced a new bill aimed at further expanding the Teaching Health Center Graduate Medical Education (THCGME) program.
The bill, H.R. 3451— the Creating Additional Residency Expansion Act (CARE Act)— was introduced on Thursday by Representatives David G. Valadao (R-Hanford) and Jeff Denham (R-Atwater). It aims to add twenty new centers to the THCGME program and provide it with $57 million over the fiscal years 2019 through 2020 to fund an additional 240 residency slots. The CARE Act also directs the Secretary of Health and Human Services to prioritize centers located in counties with high Medicaid populations.
“By expanding this program our legislation will increase THCGME residencies in high-need areas, and as a result, improve access to physicians in medically underserved areas,” Valadao explained. “Not only does this bill create 240 new residency slots, it ensures centers will be created and expanded in areas that need them most—like California’s Central Valley.”
The THCGME program is different from other residency programs that base training out of hospitals. These programs focus training in community-based primary care settings, such as federally qualified health centers.
The CARE Act builds upon the legislation introduced earlier this week: H.R. 3394, the Training the Next Generation of Primary Care Doctors Act.
While H.R. 3394 reauthorizes the THCGME Program and funds 120 new resident slots, the CARE Act funds double that number.