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Hospitals Across Florida Get Extra Med-school Grads

By: Senator Bill Nelson Release
By: Senator Bill Nelson Release

WASHINGTON, D.C. – August 17, 2011 -

Senator Bill Nelson Release

Florida hospitals are gaining a net of 325 new medical residents this year, the government organization that oversees Medicare and Medicaid announced this week. And according to U.S. Sen. Bill Nelson (D-FL), Florida was awarded more positions than any other state in the country.

Under Nelson’s legislation, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services redistributed Medicare funding for physician resident slots to areas where doctors are needed most. Each teaching hospital has a cap on the number of residents they can claim for Medicare funding. Some hospitals around the country have been operating under their cap and funding was going unused even as states, like Florida, suffered from severe physician shortages.

Nelson (D-FL) and Harry Reid (D-NV) successfully included their residency provision to reshuffle slots in broader health-care reform legislation Congress enacted last year.

“Florida desperately needs more doctors,” Nelson said. “This will help patients who must go to the emergency room. And it will allow hospitals in Florida to continue to train some of the best and brightest.”

Bruce Rueben, president of the Florida Hospital Association, the leading advocacy organization for Florida’s hospitals, said, “The net addition of some 325 new physician residency slots is a great first step towards alleviating our growing physician shortage.”

By expanding the number of physician residency training positions, it will help alleviate physician shortages in Florida, Nelson added, because physicians tend to remain in areas where they complete their training.

While sixteen Florida hospitals gained slots, a half dozen or so gave some up because they consistently didn’t fill or need them. All told, hospitals around the country applied for 1,354 slots available nationwide. The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid services evaluated each application based on detailed criteria. They looked at whether or not a hospital would use the slot, whether the hospital had a rural training system, if the hospital predominantly serves Medicare patients, whether residents focus on primary care, and a host of other criteria.

Here are the hospitals in Florida that gained slots:

Tallahassee Memorial Hospital
Tallahassee
78

Florida Hospital
Orlando
69

Palmetto General Hospital
Hialeah
57

Broward General Medical Center
Ft. Lauderdale
46

Halifax Medical Center
Daytona Beach
18

Welling Regional Medical Center
West Palm Beach
18

Jackson Memorial
Miami
15

CCF Hospital
Weston
15

Northside Hospital
St. Petersburg
14

Miami Children’s Hospital
Miami
14

Mayo Clinic Florida
Jacksonville
11

Orlando Health
Orlando
9

Univ. of Miami Hospital
Miami
7

Sacred Heart Hospital
Pensacola
6

Mt. Sinai Medical Center
Miami Beach
1

Univ. of Miami Hospital & Clinics
Miami
1


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