ACOI

Government Affairs Updates

by ACOI

June 6, 2024

Community TEAMS Act Introduced in Senate — Take Action

On March 19, senators Roger Wicker (R-MS) and Bob Casey (D-PA) introduced the Community Training, Education, and Access for Medical Students Act (Community TEAMS Act). The legislation (S. 3968) mirrors the House version of the bill (H.R. 7258) introduced earlier this year. In a letter endorsing the legislation, ACOI noted that creating more clinical rotation opportunities in rural and underserved communities can improve the pipeline of osteopathic physicians who want to practice in these areas. ACOI members are encouraged to ask their members of Congress to cosponsor the legislation. It takes just a few minutes to contact lawmakers through the ACOI Action Center.  

ACOI and AACOM Promote Shared Policy Priorities

On May 22, ACOI and the American Association of College of Osteopathic Medicine (AACOM) hosted a joint congressional briefing, during which the organizations presented several policy avenues for improving access to care in rural and medically underserved communities. Among the bills that ACOI and AACOM identified as priorities include the Fair Access In Residency (FAIR) Act (H.R. 751) and the Rural Physician Workforce Preservation Act (H.R. 8235).  

The FAIR Act would require Graduate Medical Education (GME) programs to accept for consideration DO applications and the COMLEX-USA.  

H.R. 8235 would ensure geographically rural hospitals receive GME funding as intended by Congress with passage of the Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2021 (CAA). The CAA created 1,000 new Medicare GME positions to be awarded with 10 percent of these positions reserved for hospitals serving rural communities. However, to date, many of these designated slots have been awarded to rural referral centers located in urban areas. The legislation passed the House Ways and Means Committee on May 8.  The ACOI will continue to monitor this legislation.

ACOI Asks House Committee to Consider Step Therapy Bill

ACOI was one of more than 100 organizations that sent a letter on May 17 to the House Education and Workforce Committee asking for consideration of the Safe Step Act (H.R. 2630 / S. 652). The legislation, which currently has the bipartisan support of 204 House lawmakers, would require employer plans, and the pharmacy benefit managers that support them, to offer a timely step therapy exceptions process for patients and their providers.  

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