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Medicare's Graduate Medical Education Spending Imbalanced

MONDAY, Dec. 16, 2013 (HealthDay News) -- There is an "imbalance" in how Medicare distributes its $10 billion a year for graduate medical education (GME), according to a study published in the November issue of Health Affairs.

Fitzhugh Mullan, M.D., from George Washington University in Washington D.C., and colleagues analyzed Medicare cost reports from teaching hospitals to identify state-level differences in the number of Medicare-sponsored residents.

The researchers found that there were large state-level differences in the number of Medicare-sponsored residents per 100,000 population (1.63 in Montana versus 77.13 in New York). Total Medicare GME payments varied from $1.64 million in Wyoming to $2 billion in New York. Additionally, payments per person ranged from $1.94 in Montana to $103.63 in New York, and average payments per resident ranged from $63,811 in Louisiana to $155,135 in Connecticut.

"Ways to address these imbalances include revising Medicare's GME funding formulas and protecting those states that receive less Medicare GME support in case funding is decreased and making them a priority if it is increased," the authors write.

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