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Congressman Ron Kind

Representing the 3rd District of Wisconsin

Reps. Ron Kind and Mike Gallagher Introduce Bill to Expand Medical Residencies in Wisconsin

February 26, 2019
Press Release

Reps. Ron Kind and Mike Gallagher Introduce Bill to Expand Medical Residencies in Wisconsin

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, U.S. Reps. Ron Kind (D-WI) and Mike Gallagher (R-WI) introduced the bipartisan Advancing Medical Resident Training in Community Hospitals Act, a bill that would amend an outdated Medicare rule limiting the funding under the Graduate Medical Education (GME) program for medical residencies in the state of Wisconsin, expanding opportunity for residency training in community and rural hospitals.

According to one study, 50% of medical residents stay in-state to work after completion of their residency program. Wisconsin is home to over 150 hospitals, and would benefit by increasing the number of residencies across the state, ensuring rural communities have access to doctors and medical professionals.

“As I travel across western and central Wisconsin, I often hear about the challenges rural hospitals face recruiting and retaining high quality doctors. I am proud to introduce this bipartisan bill, which will help provide more opportunity for medical residencies here in our state, and ensure our rural communities have the medical professionals they need to stay healthy and strong,” said Rep. Ron Kind

“This bill is aimed at addressing something we’ve known for a long time – that rural areas like Northeast Wisconsin need more doctors. By offering additional medical resident opportunities, more doctors will continue to work locally upon completion of their training.” Rep. Mike Gallagher said. “When we allow our community hospitals to better train and retain the next generation of physicians, we help strengthen our healthcare and our community."

The Advancing Medical Resident Training in Community Hospitals Act is co-sponsored by the entire bipartisan Wisconsin delegation in the U.S. House of Representatives, and has the backing of several Wisconsin healthcare organizations, including the Wisconsin Hospital Association, the Wisconsin Rural Health Cooperative, and the Medical College of Wisconsin.

“WHA continues to champion efforts to fill Wisconsin’s workforce shortage, with targeted policies at the state level that address the failure of Washington to act on this issue at the federal level. We know that 86% of Wisconsin students who attend a medical school and residency in Wisconsin will stay and practice in Wisconsin, making local residency programs a key tool in attracting talent to Wisconsin hospitals. I want to thank Representatives Kind and Gallagher for leading on this effort, and look forward to the new Congress taking up this technical fix, as well as more expansive efforts to modernize the federal GME program,” said Eric Borgerding, President and CEO of the Wisconsin Hospital Association.

 

“RWHC very much appreciates Representatives Kind and Gallagher for continuing to lead on this effort, and we hope the new Congress will take up this technical fix. Graduate Medical Education needs to be forward looking, not hampered by well-intentioned efforts of the past. To train the next generation of physicians we need as much capacity as possible,” said Tim Size, Executive Director of the Rural Wisconsin Health Cooperative.

 

“Medical College of Wisconsin-Green Bay will graduate our second class of medical students this summer. Building medical residency capacity in northeast Wisconsin is critical to retaining Wisconsin’s best and brightest in the very areas of the state they grew up, were educated, and ultimately wish to serve.  

Medical College of Wisconsin deeply appreciates Representative Gallagher’s leadership to address unnecessary barriers to establishing residency programs for our graduates at MCW-Green Bay and a small number of similar locations throughout the nation.  MCW respectfully requests Congress to address this nearly thirty-year old, outdated law, which has created insurmountable barriers to addressing the health needs of Wisconsin,” said John R. Raymond, Sr., MD, President and CEO of the Medical College of Wisconsin.

 

Read H.R. 1358, the Advancing Medical Resident Training in Community Hospitals Act here.

 

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