Hospitals urge CMS to rethink distribution system for residency slots

The American Hospital Association has voiced concern that a CMS rule prioritizes health professional shortage areas when distributing new medical education slots to teaching hospitals, according to a Feb. 23 news release.

In a letter to CMS, AHA Executive Vice President Stacey Hughes commented on CMS' hospital inpatient prospective payment system final rule for fiscal year 2022. The AHA leader expressed concern that health professional shortage areas will be prioritized when distributing new graduate medical education slots to teaching hospitals.

"The AHA continues to believe that Medicare GME funding is critical to maintaining the physician workforce and sustaining access to care," Ms. Hughes wrote. "Therefore, we remain very concerned that CMS' methodology prioritizes GME slot distribution by HPSA score and training time in HPSA areas. These methods do not reflect statutory intent and are operationally complicated." 

As the deadline to apply for fiscal year 2023 residency slots nears, the AHA is urging CMS to immediately distribute these residency slots for the first year without delay and reevaluate the methodology finalized in the rule for future rulemaking.

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