ASCRS, in Conjunction with the Alliance of Specialty Medicine, Endorses Legislation to Address Physician Shortages 
This week, ASCRS, in conjunction with the Alliance of Specialty Medicine, endorsed bipartisan legislation that would increase available Graduate Medical Education (GME) slots. In a release this week , the Alliance stated that with an aging population and an increase in healthcare coverage from the Affordable Care Act, the U.S. faces growing physician shortages. S. 577 /H.R. 1180 , the Resident Physician Shortage Reduction Act sponsored by Sens. Bill Nelson (D-FL), Chuck Schumer (D-NY) and Reps. Joe Crowley (D-NY) and Michael Grimm (R-NY); and a similar bill, H.R. 1201 , the Training Tomorrow’s Physicians Today Act, sponsored by Reps. Aaron Schock (R-IL) and Allyson Schwartz (D-PA), would increase GME slots by 15,000 over the next five years. The Schock/Schwartz bill would require 50% of GME slots go to primary care and allocate the new slots to hospitals based on needs, capping the number of new slots per hospital at 75. Both bills call for various further studies on the physician workforce.
The Alliance also sent letters of support to Sens. Nelson and Schumer , Reps. Crowley and Grimm ; and Reps. Schock and Schwartz.  The Alliance urged the legislators to recognize that shortages are expected in the specialties, not just in primary care, and any new legislation to increase GME slots should balance primary and specialty care.