Medical school seniors participated in the annual ritual known as Match Day last week. After gambling on various picks of where they’d like to spend their residencies, students around the country simultaneously find out which school has chosen them. This year, 11% more U.S. medical school seniors chose residencies in family medicine, and 8% more chose internal medicine. (See our news coverage here.) This may be an indications that seniors envision a brighter future in those specialties as a result of the emphasis given to primary care in health reform.
But they may still face the same nagging payment issue that their forbearers have: Medicare’s Sustainable Growth Rate formula, which has called for huge cuts in pay, year-in, year-out. The Medicare Payment Advisory Commission (MedPAC) presented its annual March report to Congress last week. Testifying before the Ways & Means Health Subcommittee, chairman Glenn Hackbarth warned that Congress was running out of options to fix the SGR.
Finally, over in the Senate, Republicans grilled HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius about why the Administration had not responded to various congressional requests for information on the sausage-making process that led to the Affordable Care Act. The GOP has said it was shut out and now it wants to know what went on behind the alleged closed doors at the White House and HHS.
To hear more about these stories, take a listen to this week’s podcast:
—Alicia Ault (on Twitter @aliciaault)