VITAL2019, America’s Essential Hospitals’ annual conference, covered a wide variety of topics important to essential hospital leaders. In this blog series, we’ll highlight key takeaways from popular sessions at the conference.

Are you curious where to start when developing new residency training programs?

The gap between medical school graduates and residency positions is expected to grow if more residency positions are not created. VITAL2019 featured presenters from the University of Texas Health Science Center at Tyler, in Tyler, Texas, and Germane Solutions who discussed strategies to improve graduate medical education (GME) economics and avoid common pitfalls.

Here are three key takeaways from “The Economics of Medicare GME: Starting New Training Programs.”

  1. There’s no such thing as a “free” resident. All resident rotations, regardless of the intent, will affect a non–teaching hospital’s ability to receive federal funding. Therefore, when accepting residents from an outside institution, it’s important to be mindful of the types of residents you accept because it could limit your organization’s ability to train residents in the future.
  2. Only one shot to get it right. The consolidation of health systems can present opportunities to significantly expand GME services with the right strategic plan. The presenters highlighted how UT Health expanded its GME opportunities by acquiring several new non–teaching hospitals.
  3. Medicare GME Reimbursement is complex. Medicare GME Reimbursement is a key funding source for teaching hospitals throughout the country, and the rules governing reimbursement are complex. With guidance from peers and consultants with reimbursement expertise, essential hospitals can position themselves to receive the resources necessary to build sustainable GME programs for the future.