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CMS Funding 1,000 Residency Slots of Hospitals in Rural & Underserved Communities

Slots to qualifying hospitals included in Fiscal Year (FY) 2022 Inpatient Prospective Payment System final rule

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Dec 21, 2021 – The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) recently announced their intention to fund 1,000 new residency slots for hospitals in rural and underserved communities. Understanding the need to advance health equity and access, the administration issued a final rule to enhance to health care workforce. 

The Fiscal Year (FY) 2022 Inpatient Prospective Payment System (IPPS) final rule with comment period establishes a policy that funds 1,000 new physician residency slots to qualifying hospitals. These residency slots will be funded through Medicare, with 200 slots per year over 5 years. 

“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,” CMS Administrator Chiquita Brooks-LaSure stated in a press release. “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.”

CMS estimates that these new slots, once fully phased in, will cost approximately $1.8 billion over the next 10 years. This is the largest increase in Medicare-funded residency slots in over 25 years. 

The expense will be worth it as it is intended to encourage more health professionals to work in underserved and rural areas. In fact, doctors are more likely to practice in the areas where they do their residencies, so having an additional 200 slots per year will help advance health equity and access.

“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 the Director of the Center for Medicare, Dr. Meena Seshamani.

To view the full FY 2022 IPPS final rule with comment period (CMS-1752-FC3), click here

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