Increased Public Accountability for Hospital Nonprofit Status: Potential Impacts on Residency Positions

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Abstract

Background:

The Institute of Medicine recently called for greater graduate medical education (GME) accountability for meeting the workforce needs of the nation. The Affordable Care Act expanded community health needs assessment (CHNA) requirements for nonprofit and tax-exempt hospitals to include community assessment, intervention, and evaluation every 3 years but did not specify details about workforce. Texas receives relatively little federal GME funding but has used Medicaid waivers to support GME expansion. The objective of this article was to examine Texas CHNAs and regional health partnership (RHP) plans to determine to what extent they identify community workforce need or include targeted GME changes or expansion since the enactment of the Affordable Care Act and the revised Internal Revenue Service requirements for CHNAs.

Methods:

Texas hospitals (n = 61) received federal GME dollars during the study period. Most of these hospitals completed a CHNA; nearly all hospitals receiving federal GME dollars but not mandated to complete a CHNA participated in similar state-based RHP plans. The 20 RHPs included assessments and intervention proposals under a 1115 Medicaid waiver. Every CHNA and RHP was reviewed for any mention of GME-related needs or interventions. The latest available CHNAs and RHPs were reviewed in 2015. All CHNA and RHP plans were dated 2011 to 2015.

Results:

Of the 38 hospital CHNAs, 26 identified a workforce need in primary care, 34 in mental health, and 17 in subspecialty care. A total of 36 CHNAs included implementation plans, of which 3 planned to address the primary care workforce need through an increase in GME funding, 1 planned to do so for psychiatry training, and 1 for subspecialty training. Of the 20 RHPs, 18 identified workforce needs in primary care, 20 in mental health, and 15 in subspecialty training. Five RHPs proposed to increase GME funding for primary care, 3 for psychiatry, and 1 for subspecialty care.

Conclusions:

Hospital CHNAs and other regional health assessments could be potentially strategic mechanisms to assess community needs as well as GME accountability in light of community needs and to guide GME expansion more strategically. Internal Revenue Service guidance regarding CHNAs could include workforce needs assessment and intervention requirements. Preference for future Medicaid or Medicare GME funding expansion could potentially favor states that use CHNAs or RHPs to identify workforce needs and track outcomes of related interventions.

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