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FL Shorted on Doctor-Training Funds

Leon County Judge John Cooper on June 30, 2022, in a screen grab from The Florida Channel.
George Washington University
The Florida Channel
Leon County Judge John Cooper on June 30, 2022, in a screen grab from The Florida Channel.

Many have grumbled about it before, but now it's been officially noted in the nation's top health-policy journal, Health Affairs: Florida gets shortchanged when it comes to graduate medical education funding from Medicare. And it's not the only one.

As Kaiser Health News' Phil Galewitz reports, the George Washington University study published Monday shows that states in the northeast receive a disproportionate share in funding per capita to provide hands-on  residency training to newly minted physicians.

New York State, which has about the same population as Florida, has five times as many training slots and seven times as much Medicare funding for them as this state, the study says. The research team questioned the out-of-date allocation method for funds and called for a revamping.

Other states that are winners in the funding share are Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Pennsylvania, Michigan and Connecticut, the study found. Each of these states gets more than $71 in funding per each resident compared to $14 for Florida and $11.50 for Texas, the study shows At the bottom is Montana, which gets $1.94 per resident.

The funding imbalance matters because there is a shortage of physicians in Florida and they are most likely to practice in the state where they complete residency training.

Originally founded in December 2006 as an independent grassroots publication dedicated to coverage of health issues in Florida, Health News Florida was acquired by WUSF Public Media in September 2012.