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house Bill H.R. 1201

Creating More Residency Positions For Medical Students

Argument in favor

The U.S. is facing a significant physician shortage that will only get worse as the population ages. This bill will ensure that there are more well trained physicians available to the public.

Argument opposed

Changing the way that hospitals are compensated for taking on residents won’t necessarily increase the number of doctors. Funding training through Medicare is not the solution.

bill Progress

  • Not enacted
    The President has not signed this bill
  • The senate has not voted
  • The house has not voted
      house Committees
      Committee on Energy and Commerce
      Committee on Ways and Means
    IntroducedMarch 14th, 2013

What is House Bill H.R. 1201?

This bill would change the way funds are distributed through Medicare for medical resident positions and graduate medical education (GME) costs. H.R. 1201's aims to increase the number of Medicare residency positions by 15,000.

Currently, Medicare contributes funding to offset the costs facing teaching hospitals from educating residents and caring for patients with more complex needs.

The Secretary of Health and Human Services (HHS) would be directed to increase the limit on residents for each qualifying hospital between 2014 and 2018. Each year the HHS Secretary would determine the total number of residency positions, however, the aggregate number of increases in the resident limit would be set at 3,000 each year.

The Secretary would adjust medical education payments to hospitals based on patient care performance. All GME and medical education payments would be reported to Congress.


Doctors completing their residency, sick people, Medicare recipients, teaching hospitals, other medical facilities, and the Comptroller General.

Cost of House Bill H.R. 1201

A CBO cost estimate is unavailable.

More Information

Of Note:

It has been speculated that by 2020 America will have shortage of 45,000 doctors, which will be compounded by increased demand for healthcare. Some have argued that the physician shortage will be alleviated by technological innovation, in addition to an increased role for nurses, aides, pharmacists, dieticians, and other non-physician care providers.

This would be a welcome reprieve, as a Physicians Foundation survey found that 80% of doctors feel they’re either overextended or at full capacity.

It remains to be seen whether or not the healthcare system can adjust to cope with an increased demand for services. But while the number of first-year medical students has recently rebounded from its slump, the shortage of positions available for residency remains.

The Wall Street Journal notes that in 2010 there were approximately 110,000 resident positions in the U.S., and that the teaching hospitals which staffed them relied heavily on Medicare payments for their compensation. The program which helps match residents with available positions found that there were nearly 5000 more applicants than openings.


Sponsoring Reps. Aaron Schock (R-IL) and Allyson Schwartz (D-PA) Joint Press Release

Association of American Medical Colleges Position Paper (In Favor)


Wall Street Journal


(Photo Credit: Flickr user phalinn)


Training Tomorrow's Doctors Today Act

Official Title

To amend title XVIII of the Social Security Act to provide for the distribution of additional residency positions, and for other purposes.

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