Proposed Performance-Based Metrics for the Future Funding of Graduate Medical Education: Starting the Conversation

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Abstract

Graduate medical education (GME) in the United States is financed by contributions from both federal and state entities that total over $15 billion annually. Within institutions, these funds are distributed with limited transparency to achieve ill-defined outcomes. To address this, the Institute of Medicine convened a committee on the governance and financing of GME to recommend finance reform that would promote a physician training system that meets society’s current and future needs. The resulting report provided several recommendations regarding the oversight and mechanisms of GME funding, including implementation of performance-based GME payments, but did not provide specific details about the content and development of metrics for these payments. To initiate a national conversation about performance-based GME funding, the authors asked: What should GME be held accountable for in exchange for public funding? In answer to this question, the authors propose 17 potential performance-based metrics for GME funding that could inform future funding decisions. Eight of the metrics are described as exemplars to add context and to help readers obtain a deeper understanding of the inherent complexities of performance-based GME funding. The authors also describe considerations and precautions for metric implementation.

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