CMS Funding 1,000 New Residency Slots for Hospitals Serving Rural & Underserved Communities
Administration takes action to address access to care, workforce shortages in high-need areas
Today the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) took a critical step to advance health equity and access, issuing a final rule that will enhance the health care workforce and fund additional medical residency positions in hospitals serving rural and underserved communities.
The Fiscal Year (FY) 2022 Inpatient Prospective Payment System (IPPS) final rule with comment period establishes policies to distribute 1,000 new Medicare-funded physician residency slots to qualifying hospitals, phasing in 200 slots per year over five years. CMS estimates that funding for the additional residency slots, once fully phased in, will total approximately $1.8 billion over the next 10 years. In implementing a section of the Consolidated Appropriations Act (CAA), 2021, this is the largest increase in Medicare-funded residency slots in over 25 years. Other sections of the CAA being implemented further promote increasing training in rural areas and increasing graduate medical education payments to hospitals meeting certain criteria.
“CMS recognizes the importance of encouraging more health professionals to work in rural and underserved areas, and the need to train and retain physicians to improve access to health care in these communities,” said CMS Administrator Chiquita Brooks-LaSure. “The CAA created a tremendous opportunity for us to address health care inequities, and CMS is grateful to Congress for their action on this important issue.”
In allocating these new residency slots, CMS will prioritize hospitals with training programs in areas demonstrating the greatest need for providers, as determined by Health Professional Shortage Areas. The first round of 200 residency slots will be announced by January 31, 2023, and will become effective July 1, 2023.
“Doctors are most likely to practice in the areas where they do their residencies. Having additional residents train in the very areas that need the most support can not only bolster the numbers of providers in these underserved areas, but also train them with a unique understanding of the specific needs of these communities,” said Director of the Center for Medicare, Dr. Meena Seshamani.
For fact sheet on the FY 2022 IPPS final rule with comment period, please visit: https://www.cms.gov/newsroom/fact-sheets/fiscal-year-fy-2022-medicare-hospital-inpatient-prospective-payment-system-ipps-final-rule-comment
The FY 2022 IPPS final rule with comment period (CMS-1752-FC3) is displayed at the Federal Register and can be viewed here: https://www.federalregister.gov/public-inspection/current