A bipartisan group of members of the House of Representatives came together on Jan. 19 to introduce legislation to help combat the twin crises of rising rates of drug addiction and a dwindling physician workforce capable of treating these patients struggling with substance use disorder.
Representatives Brad Schneider (D-IL), David Valadao (R-CA), Ann Kuster (D-NH), Mike Carey (R-OH), and Mike Kelly (R-PA) introduced H.R. 7050, the Substance Use Disorder Workforce Act, which provides an additional 1,000 Medicare supported graduate medical education (GME) slots for residency programs specifically in addiction medicine, addiction psychiatry or pain medicine.
H.R. 7050 authorizes these new GME slots for a total of five years, however, 500 of these positions are reserved for hospitals that are in the process of establishing approved residency programs in addiction medicine, addiction psychiatry or pain medicine between 2025 and 2028. The other 500 slots are to be allocated to hospitals that already have existing residency programs in these areas in 2024. Unused slots by hospitals with existing residency programs can be redistributed to the hospitals in the process of establishing programs in addiction medicine, addiction psychiatry or pain medicine. To ensure regional balance, no individual hospital may receive more than 25 GME slots.
The AMA commends Reps. Schneider, Valadao, Kuster, Carey and Kelly for introducing this bipartisan legislation and continues to work to ensure that a Senate companion bill, which is titled the Opioid Workforce Act, is introduced again in the 118th Congress.
Register now to secure your spot for the AMA National Advocacy Conference—Feb. 12-14 at the Grand Hyatt in Washington, D.C.
New speakers from Congress and the administration have been announced, with more to come. You will have the opportunity to hear from:
- The Honorable Chiquita Brooks-LaSure, administrator, Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services
- The Honorable Vern Buchanan (R-FL), United States representative
- The Honorable Larry Bucshon, MD (R-IN), United States representative
- Mandy K. Cohen, MD, MPH, director, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
- The Honorable Robin Kelly (D-IL), United States representative
- The Honorable Lina M. Khan, chair, Federal Trade Commission
- The Honorable Richard Neal (D-MA), United States representative
View the updated preliminary agenda (PDF) to learn more.