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CMS Awards 200 New Medicare-funded Residency Slots to Hospitals Serving Underserved Communities

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) took a critical step to advance health equity and access to care, awarding the first 200 of 1,000 Medicare-funded physician residency slots to enhance the health care workforce and fund additional positions in hospitals serving underserved communities. Approximately three-quarters of the new positions will be for primary care and mental health specialties.

The Fiscal Year (FY) 2022 Inpatient Prospective Payment System (IPPS) final rule established policies to implement 1,000 new Medicare-funded physician residency slots to qualifying hospitals authorized by the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2021, phasing in 200 slots per year over five years. In allocating these new residency slots, CMS prioritized hospitals with training programs in geographic areas demonstrating the greatest need for additional providers, as determined by Health Professional Shortage Areas. The first round of 200 residency positions awarded today are to 100 teaching hospitals across 30 states, the District of Columbia, and Puerto Rico, and they will be effective July 1, 2023.

“These graduate medical education residency slot awards will help address access to care challenges and workforce shortages in the highest need areas,” said CMS Administrator Chiquita Brooks-LaSure. “The majority of the positions are for primary care and mental health specialists, who are the foundation of our health care system. I encourage potential applicants to apply to our next application period, which opens in just a few weeks.”

“Prioritizing these awards to areas that need the most support will bolster the workforce while also arming new providers with a unique understanding of the specific needs of these communities,” said Dr. Meena Seshamani, Deputy Administrator and Director for CMS’ Center for Medicare. “This is critical in advancing our goals of providing high-quality care to all people.”

Of these direct graduate medical education slots, 125 of the residency slots are being allocated for primary care (including obstetrics/gynecology), and 20 slots are being allocated for psychiatry. Supporting the training of new primary care and psychiatry residents demonstrates essential progress toward improving access to critical services, including those necessary to address the mental health crisis, in rural and underserved communities, as outlined in the U.S. Health and Human Services’ (HHS) Initiative to Strengthen Primary Care and the CMS Behavioral Health Strategy.

The application period for the second round of 200 residency positions will open in January 2023 and close on March 31, 2023.

For the list of the Round 1 awards, please visit: https://www.cms.gov/Medicare/Medicare-Fee-for-Service-Payment/AcuteInpatientPPS/DGME

2022 Inpatient Prospective Payment System (IPPS) final rule, Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, CMS, Health Professional Shortage Areas

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