Rep. Grimm Applauds CMS Announcement to Reward RUMC with New Residency Slots

Feb 12, 2012 Issues: Health

STATEN ISLAND, NY - Rep. Michael G. Grimm (R,C-NY) applauds the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services’ (CMS) announcement of Medicare residency cap increases, which has awarded Richmond University Medical Center (RUMC) over 30 new residency slots to train more physicians on Staten Island.

 “As the only borough without a public hospital, Staten Island has been dealt a tough hand when it comes to funding,” said Grimm.  “It is not without the bold leadership and tough decision- making at RUMC that this institution has been able to overcome adverse circumstances and continue to deliver Staten Islanders with high quality health care. By redeeming these residency slots lost, the hospital has taken a much-needed step forward in its ability to serve a rapidly growing community. I have worked tirelessly, from day one, to address the issue of a looming physician shortage, and this announcement to reward RUMC with additional residency slots is welcomed news.”

“We are pleased that RUMC will be able to continue its commitment to providing graduate medical residencies for those displaced by the closure of Caritas,” stated Richard Murphy, President & CEO of RUMC.  “We are appreciative of all the efforts by Congressman Grimm in championing our cause and that of similar institutions.  It is vitally important to our community and our patients that RUMC’s role as a teaching hospital be recognized and supported.”

RUMC’s award could result in an estimated increase of over $3 million in Graduate Medical Education (GME) funding, and will help offset spending cuts from the state and federal level.  The health care law alone cut over $11 billion on Medicare payments to New York hospitals.

RUMC is one of only 300 teaching hospitals in the nation that offers a full residency program, offering a full range of specialties.  RUMC and the physicians they train provide vital support for highly specialized care to the most medically complex patients, while delivering critical services such as trauma and burn care.  In 2008, RUMC lost 24 slots and now it has gained 31.

New York teaching hospitals train 1 out of every 7 physicians in America, making these funds not only essential for New York hospitals, but also an indispensable component for ensuring physician access and availability throughout the United States.  The U.S. will be faced with a physician shortage of 90,000 physicians by the end of the decade, and currently 22 states have reported physician workforce shortages.  With this CMS award of over 30 residency slots, Staten Island will continue the long standing tradition of training our nation’s best and brightest physicians.

Rep. Grimm has been a leader in the fight to protect funding for New York’s teaching hospitals and has introduced H.R. 2224, the Improving Physician Access in Teaching Hospitals (PATH) Act. His bill seeks to prevent a doctor shortage by phasing in additional residency slots to participating teaching hospitals, as well as give tax incentives for practicing physicians who provide opportunities for resident rotations in their practices.