Compendium of Budget Information for the 2009 General Session
|Subcommittee Table of Contents|
The enactment of House Bill 141, 'Medical Education Program,' in the 1997 General Session, created the Medical Education Program to be administered by the Utah Medical Education Council (UMEC). The UMEC evaluates current and future healthcare workforce needs, which include increasing retention rates, stabilizing funding for training, and establishing policies to achieve a viable healthcare workforce. The UMEC helps promote a public/private partnership by working closely with the healthcare industry and the university and college medical education programs.
Historically, federal funding for state medical education was sent directly to hospitals providing healthcare workforce training. The UMEC now receives and disburses federal funds for Graduate Medical Education (GME) expenses allowing the UMEC to directly tie the funding of medical education to workforce needs. By utilizing data from workforce surveys prepared by the Division of Occupational and Professional Licensing and the Department of Workforce Services, the UMEC determines where the most critical healthcare workforce needs are in the state and enters into contractual agreements with institutions that provide medical education training. In this way, the UMEC helps to alleviate shortages of healthcare professionals, particularly in rural and underserved communities.
Clinical training programs for physicians, nurse practitioners, physician assistants, and pharmacists are threatened because of the changing health care environment. The movement to managed care has forced institutions to compete on the cost of patient care while the institutions which sponsor clinical training cannot compete for market share as a result of the clinical training costs included in their rates. Thus, the institutions that have previously sponsored Graduate Medical Education (GME) are now unable to subsidize 100 percent of the clinical training. Furthermore, if the present Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) curtails funding as proposed by new CMS regulations, the institutions now sponsoring GME training will be forced to cut programs. The UMEC is identifying approaches that use the revenue sources more efficiently to stabilize funding for clinical training programs. The UMEC also provides leadership in developing strategies to meet workforce requirements and to maintain quality health care services.
The following laws govern the Medical Education Program:
UCA 63C-8-102 created the Medical Education Program and the sources of funding. UCA 63C-8-103 created the Medical Education Council to administer the program. UCA 63C-8-104 outlines the duties of the Medical Education Council. UCA 63C-8-105 outlines the powers of the council.
The Medical Education Program funding consists of General Funds and Dedicated Credits (contracts and fees for services).