The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act of 2010 created the Teaching Health Center Graduate Medical Education (THCGME) program to provide graduate medical education (GME) funding directly to community-based health centers that expand or establish new primary care residency programs. The THCGME program was the legislation’s only new investment in GME, and it represents a significant departure from the Medicare GME funding system. It provides payments to ambulatory care centers for both direct and indirect GME expenses, and mandates a level of reporting from recipients that is not required for Medicare GME support. This initial look at the 11 inaugural teaching health centers (THCs) shows that they are training primary care residents in relevant delivery models (e.g., interprofessional teams, patient-centered medical homes), developing educational initiatives that address primary care practice in underserved areas, and transforming organizational and funding structures to support community-based training. The THCs plan to evaluate and report resident performance, patient quality of care, and graduate outcomes. The work of the first THCs has implications for primary care training, the GME system, and future policies and legislation aimed at strengthening the health care workforce.
Dr. C. Chen is senior research fellow, National Institute of Minority Health and Health Disparities, National Institutes of Health, and assistant research professor, Department of Health Policy, School of Public Health and Health Services, George Washington University, Washington, DC.
Dr. F. Chen is associate professor, Department of Family Medicine, University of Washington School of Medicine, Seattle, Washington.
Dr. Mullan is Murdock Head Professor of Medicine and Health Policy, Department of Health Policy, School of Public Health and Health Services, George Washington University, Washington, DC.
Correspondence should be addressed to Dr. Candice Chen, 2121 K St., NW, Suite 210, Washington, DC 20037; telephone: (202) 994-4338; e-mail: email@example.com.