CMS urged to extend window for building new residency programs

AHA yesterday urged the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services to extend the five-year window for building medical residency programs to account for the COVID-19 public health emergency. The agency should extend the five-year cap building window for impacted hospitals by the length of the PHE plus the additional time needed to reach July 1, which is the start of the academic year, AHA said.

“CMS established this five-year window because it determined that its previous three-year window was not sufficient for the residency training programs to reach full capacity,” AHA wrote. “Hospitals establishing new teaching programs during the PHE face a similar dilemma — they are unable to meet program accreditation requirements, particularly where they are establishing more than one program, under timelines that were planned prior to the pandemic.”

Temporarily extending the five-year window in the upcoming proposed inpatient prospective payment system rule for fiscal year 2022 “would do much to support the long-term sustainability of physician training” as hospitals “work to alleviate the disparities in their communities by creating new residency programs,” AHA told CMS.