To address doctor shortage, US to pay for 1,000 new residences

The Biden administration has decided to fund 1,000 additional medical residency positions over the next five years to “Tackle access to healthcare, labor shortages in areas of high need. “

The money will come from Medicare, which provides health insurance for Americans 65 and older, but also funds the direct and indirect costs of medical education in the United States, including doctors-in-training and residences.

Under a rule implemented by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services as part of the “Inpatient Prospective Payment System” for fiscal 2022, 1,000 new Medicare-funded medical residency slots will be distributed to eligible hospitals. “There will be 200 slots per year over five years,” CMS said in an announcement Friday.

“CMS estimates that funding for additional residential slots, when fully implemented, will total approximately $ 1.8 billion over the next 10 years,” the agency said on Friday. “By implementing a section of the Consolidated Appropriations Act (CAA) of 2021, this is the largest increase in Medicare-funded residency slots in over 25 years. Other sections of the CAA being implemented further encourage increased training in rural areas and increased payments for higher medical education to hospitals that meet certain criteria. “

The lack of funding for residency niches to expand the physician pool in the United States has been a problem for more than two decades. The Association of American Medical Colleges, which has long complained about a lack of funding for physician training, said earlier this year that the United States “could experience an estimated shortage of between 37,800 and 124,000 physicians in ‘by 2034, including shortages in primary and specialist care. “

But Congress earlier this year took action to address the lack of money for doctors-in-training.

“CMS recognizes the importance of encouraging more health professionals to work in rural and underserved areas, as well as the need to train and retain physicians to improve access to health care in these communities,” said CMS Administrator Chiquita Brooks-LaSure. “CAA has created a tremendous opportunity for us to tackle inequalities in health care, and CMS is grateful to Congress for its action on this important issue. “

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