On Nov. 15, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) published the list of Round 2 awards made available under Section 126 of the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2021 (P.L. 116-260). Section 126 provids 1,000 new Medicare-supported graduate medical education (GME) positions, which the CMS will distribute in installments of 200 over the next five years.
For this round of distributions, 99 hospitals were awarded slots from 229 hospitals that applied. The complete list of awards is available on the CMS Direct Graduate Medical Education (DGME) website under the Section 126 tab, along with other information regarding Section 126 distributions and frequently asked questions. The CMS prioritized the distribution of awards based on the Health Professional Shortage Area (HPSA) score associated with the training program that applied for an increase in positions. For Round 2, the highest HPSA score awarded was 21 and the lowest was 14. This is based on a scale from 1 to 25 — the higher the number, the greater the priority indicated. Awards were made for DGME and indirect medical education (IME) cap increases, with 14 hospitals receiving DGME awards only and 16 hospitals receiving IME awards only.
Applications for Round 3 will open in January 2024, with applications due March 31. No hospital may apply for more than five full-time equivalent (FTE) positions in any award cycle, with a statutory limit of 25 FTEs awarded to any one hospital.