HomeWashington Letter2014 ▶ ATS Advocates for Pediatric Specialty Training Incentives
ATS Advocates for Pediatric Specialty Training Incentives

January 2014

Since its creation under the Affordable Care Act (ACA), the ATS has advocated for the Pediatric Subspecialty Loan Repayment Program. The program will help alleviate pediatric specialty shortages, including pediatric pulmonology and sleep, by providing a financial incentive for students to choose careers in pediatric specialties. Although $5 million in funding was allocated for the program in the Senate's health spending bill, the final FY2014 omnibus spending bill did not include funding for the program, because funding for most ACA programs was cut. The ATS recently joined a letter with the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) and other child health organizations to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) urging the Director to provide $5 million in funding for the program in the President's proposed FY2015 budget, expected to be released in March 2014.

There are shortages and disparities in the geographic distribution of pediatric specialists such as pediatric pulmonologists, resulting in many children in underserved areas not receiving timely or appropriate health care. Nationally, over 25% of children's hospitals report vacancies of at least twelve months in pediatric pulmonology.

The Pediatric Subspecialty Loan Repayment program requires participants to work full-time for at least two years in a pediatric medical subspecialty, a pediatric surgical specialty, or in child and adolescent mental health in a health professional shortage area or a medically underserved area. In return, the program pays up to $35,000 in loan repayment for each year of service, for up to three years. The ATS will continue to work with the AAP and other partners to support this program.

Last Reviewed: October 2017