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Deborah Briggs Testifies Before Assembly Budget Committee

On Wednesday, March 7, 2012 Deborah Briggs testified before the Assembly Budget Committee (ABU) addressing topics in health, human services, senior, family and children’s issues in the proposed  SFY 2013 budget. Ms. Briggs thanked the ABU for their continued funding of GME and for recognizing the importance of this funding even in difficult financial times. She acknowledged that the proposed budget remains constant, and shows bipartisan support for New Jersey’s facilities, doctors, and the many healthcare workers around the state. She also noted that despite the proposal to maintain the additional $30M in GME funding, the state’s share of GME expenses remains $183M below cost of services provided to the Medicaid population. Ms. Briggs stated that we understood this is a continuous process of delineating facts and rationale for improving this funding stream.
Ms. Briggs gave each member of the ABU a copy of the 2012 Graduate Medical Education Primer, First Edition, to answer any questions that could not be answered within the short span of time allotted for testimony and questions. The Council was pleased to hand out the Graduate Medical Education Primer, First Edition which was written as a result of this committee’s questions directed at Health Commissioner Mary O’Dowd during last year’s budget process with regard to the $30M in “additional” GME funding. Following last year’s budget hearing Commissioner O’Dowd attended an NJCTH Board meeting and requested the Council’s assistance in the form of a report/documentation of GME benefits for future proceedings. The result was the hospital specific GME Individual Hospital Report Survey and the non-hospital specific Graduate Medical Education Primer, First Edition
Ms. Briggs outlined the Council’s dedication to discovering and addressing the reasons why medical residents leave New Jersey to set up practice in other states, citing the NJCTH annual Resident Exit Survey as the primary tool for understanding why they make these choices and how the state in partnership with medical schools and teaching hospitals can resolve some of the issues the medical residents bring to the table.
Ms. Briggs gave three concrete retention solutions that can be accomplished over the next twelve months: 
·       Allocate funding toward New Jersey’s Loan Repayment Program
·       Offer a Physician Tax Credit Program
·       Legislate a mandatory “Scope of Practice” survey during the Board of Medical Examiner’s 2013 re-licensure process.

Read Testimony via the following link: