Beyond the Balanced Budget Act of 1997: Strengthening Federal GME Policy


The Pew Health Professions Commission

October 1, 1998

Current physician workforce trends indicate a need to reform federal graduate medical education (GME) policy to better align policy with market signals and the public interest. The transformation of health care is affecting other health professions as well, but in no other case are the gaps between supply and demand so evident and the deficiencies in current policy so glaring. The Balanced Budget Act of 1997 represents the first major overhaul of Medicare GME policy since the early 1980s and contains a number of important provisions. However, further reforms are necessary to align educational programs’ financial incentives with market realities. This report is intended to offer Congress, the Administration, and others concerned with federal GME policy a road map for moving beyond the Balanced Budget Act of 1997.