Medicare overpaid hospitals about $1.3 billion in 2015 for the government’s Teaching Health Center Graduate Medical Education program, according to a study published in JAMA Internal Medicine.
The Graduate Medical Education rate is $150,000 per resident. While 25 percent of hospitals received less than $106,000 per resident in 2015, 25 percent received more than $182,000 per resident. That same year, nearly half of teaching hospitals got more than $150,000 per resident.
If Medicare GME payments were capped at the $150,000 rate, researchers predict Medicare would save more than $1 billion every year.
“Our study suggests Medicare GME may be overpaying some hospitals up to $1.28 billion annually,” said Candice Chen, MD, lead study author and associate professor of health policy and management at the George Washington University Milken Institute School of Public Health in Washington, D.C. “Those funds could be redirected and used to strengthen the physician workforce, especially in underserved areas.”