Address private equity's growing impact on residency training – American Medical Association

The role of private equity has increased markedly in recent years, and the consequences of that change are adversely affecting graduate medical education, according to an AMA Council on Medical Education report whose recommendations were adopted at the 2022 AMA Interim Meeting in Honolulu.
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The 2019 closing of Philadelphia’s Hahnemann University Hospital is one glaring example of the potential adverse consequences. The closure by a for-profit ownership temporarily left nearly 600 resident and fellow physicians without an accredited graduate medical education (GME) program to continue their training. From 2015 to 2019, the number of investor-owned, for-profit community hospitals in the U.S. rose 19% to more than 1,200 hospitals, the AMA council’s report noted.
Additionally, private equity ownership of teaching hospitals can affect residents and fellows’ ability to qualify for the Public Service Loan Forgiveness Program (PSLF), which is restricted to nonprofit and publicly owned entities.
In an effort to address the potential pitfalls of private equity ownership of GME institutions, the AMA House of Delegates adopted new policy to:
“While positive developments have been made to implement protections for residents since the unexpected closure of Hahnemann, we are concerned that these changes are only temporary and may not lead to lasting change or prevent dramatic teaching hospital closures from happening again as a result of private equity investment,” said AMA Immediate Past Chair Bobby Mukkamala, MD.
“We will continue to advocate for protections for residents who train in residency programs at private equity-owned teaching hospitals and encourage sponsoring institutions to monitor these programs to minimize disruptions to residency training—not only to ensure continuity of excellent education for physicians-in-training but also ensure they’re able to continue providing much needed care for the communities and patients they serve,” Dr. Mukkamala said.
“This is critically important for safety-net hospitals in underserved urban and rural areas that provide essential services to our most at-risk patients.”
Delegates also directed the AMA to encourage GME training institutions, programs and relevant stakeholders to:
In addition, the House of Delegates directed the AMA to encourage:
Read about the other highlights from the 2022 AMA Interim Meeting.
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