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DOC bill would permanently fund physician training to serve high need areas

The bill would give incentive for medical school graduates to go into primary and family care rather than a more lucrative specialty.

June 3, 2021 / Susan Morse, Managing Editor

Physician shortages in primary care, which were exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic, would get a boost from a new bill called the Doctors of Community Act.

The DOC Act would provide increased and sustained annual funding at more than $500 million per year for fiscal years 2024-2033. It would increase the number of residency slots available each year. 

The bill would permanently authorize the Teaching Health Center Graduate Medical Education program to support the training of primary care medical and dental residents. The program would focus on high-need communities, according to the House Committee on Energy & Commerce.

Currently, the program gets $126.5 million per year, but funding is set to expire in 2023.

Committee Chairman Frank Pallone, Jr. (D-NJ) and Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions Committee Chair Patty Murray (D-WA) introduced the legislation on Tuesday, which is expected to be introduced in the Senate next week.

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Chris J. Stewart

Chris currently serves as President and CEO of Surgio Health. Chris has close to 20 years of healthcare management experience, with an infinity to improve healthcare delivery through the development and implementation of innovative solutions that result in improved efficiencies, reduction of unnecessary financial & clinical variation, and help achieve better patient outcomes. Previously, Chris was assistant vice president and business unit leader for HPG/HCA. He has presented at numerous healthcare forums on topics that include disruptive innovation, physician engagement, shifting reimbursement models, cost per clinical episode and the future of supply chain delivery.

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