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
Palmetto General Hospital
Broward General Medical Center
Halifax Medical Center
Welling Regional Medical Center
West Palm Beach
Miami Children’s Hospital
Mayo Clinic Florida
Univ. of Miami Hospital
Sacred Heart Hospital
Mt. Sinai Medical Center
Univ. of Miami Hospital & Clinics