As plans for the closure of Hahnemann University Hospital in Philadelphia unfold, one important issue that must be resolved is the transfer of graduate medical education (GME) funding for physicians in training from Hahnemann to the other hospitals that accept these trainees. Since the issue of funding has received much attention in recent days, ECFMG is sharing the following basic information that may be helpful to Hahnemann residents and fellows as they seek to transition to training programs at other hospitals.
U.S. hospitals are reimbursed for the educational costs of training physicians by the U.S. Government, specifically by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS). Hospitals are reimbursed by CMS for each resident/fellow that they train, and each hospital is subject to a limit or “cap” on the number of trainees for which it receives reimbursement. Reimbursement for fellows is valued at 50% of the amount for residents.
When a hospital closes and its trainees are displaced, the trainees may continue their training at another hospital. In this case, the hospital that accepts a displaced resident or fellow is eligible to receive the entire CMS reimbursement for his/her position. At this time, Drexel University College of Medicine and Hahnemann University Hospital are negotiating the release of GME funding for Hahnemann’s residents and fellows. Once released, these funds will be available to move with trainees to their new training hospitals.
During these negotiations, Hahnemann residents and fellows should continue to look for positions in other training programs. They also should be aware of the following facts about GME funding for their positions:
- Funds from CMS for the training of physicians are owned by the training hospital (in this case, Hahnemann), not by any affiliated medical school(s).
- When a hospital closes and a trainee moves to another hospital, the funding for the trainee’s position moves with the trainee to the new training hospital.
- When a trainee moves to a new training hospital, the funds that move with the trainee are for all remaining years in the trainee’s program.
- A hospital is eligible to accept a displaced trainee and to receive his/her funding, even if the hospital is at or over its number of capped positions.
Please monitor this website for updates on this developing situation.