Washington, D.C. – Congresswoman Elise Stefanik today announced that, following her advocacy, Samaritan Medical Center will receive additional Medicare-funded residency slots, allowing additional resident physicians to be able to train in Watertown.

Due to a CMS administrative oversight years ago, Samaritan Medical Center incorrectly lost part of its Medicare-resident cap, erroneously reducing the number of medical residents subsidized by Medicare by 2.71 slots. Rural hospitals with fewer than 250 beds, like Samaritan, were supposed to be exempt from this reduction.

Following Stefanik’s advocacy, Samaritan Medical Center will receive 2.92 additional Direct Graduate Medical Education and Indirect Medical Education slots as part of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services’ (CMS) first round of awarding new Medicare-funded residency slots to hospitals in Health Professional Shortage Areas.

“I am proud to announce that, following my advocacy, Samaritan Medical Center will have its number of resident physician slots increased, so it can continue to have the staff it needs to provide quality care to our rural communities,” Stefanik said. “Rural hospitals like Samaritan Medical Center offer a critical lifeline for our communities in Upstate New York and the North Country. I am proud to secure this result to increase the amount of resident physician slots at Samaritan and right the wrong of this longstanding administrative oversight. Now, Samaritan Medical can receive the support they deserve to be properly equipped to continue serving Upstate New York and the North Country.”

"The importance of Medicare-funded residency slots to us here in Watertown and across the North Country cannot be understated. Congresswoman Stefanik's successful efforts advocating to increase the number of Medicare-funded physician residency slots at Samaritan in spite of CMS’s previous administrative mistake are further evidence of her commitment to strengthen rural health care, and we thank her for her continued work on this issue," said Thomas Carman, President and CEO of Samaritan Medical Center.

These additional resident physician positions will be effective as of July 1, 2023.

In October 2021, Stefanik called on the CMS to correct a longstanding administrative mistake that has reduced the number of Medicare-supported resident physicians that are able to train at Samaritan Medical Center in Watertown.