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Iowa Hospitals Receiving Additional Medical Residency Positions Following Grassley Law

Two Iowa hospitals will be able to recruit and train additional doctors thanks to a 2020 law championed by U.S. Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa). Iowa Methodist Medical Center in Des Moines and MercyOne Waterloo Medical Center have received additional Medicare funds to cover nearly six additional graduate medical education (GME) residency positions made available under the 2020 law to support Iowa’s growing health care workforce needs.

“As I travel across Iowa, I hear about workforce needs in every community and the need for more doctors and health care workers,” Grassley said. “I’m glad two hospitals in central and northeast Iowa will benefit from this initial distribution of additional medical residency positions. More doctors being trained in Iowa is good for patients. I will continue to work with Iowa’s health care leaders to address our workforce needs.”

MercyOne Northeast Iowa Family Medicine & Residency is thankful to Sen. Chuck Grassley for his role in securing this federal funding, which allows us to expand our residency program. We have trained over 200 family medicine doctors over the past 45 years, and this funding will allow us to expand our program further, training even more high-quality, compassionate providers to serve the Cedar Valley and Northeast Iowa,” said Dr. Anthony Day, MercyOne Northeast Iowa Family Medicine & Residency Program Director.

“The additional Medicare-funded residency slots helps address critical physician shortages here in Iowa and helps ensure Iowans continue to have access to high quality health care in their local community. Our programs consistently produce physicians and surgeons that remain in Iowa to serve Iowans. We appreciate Senator Grassley’s continued work on this issue,” said Dr. William J. Yost, Chief Academic Officer and Vice President of Medical Education and Research at Iowa Methodist Medical Center.

In 2020, as Finance Committee chairman, Grassley worked to add 1,000 additional Medicare-funded GME residency positions to help meet the needs of health care workforce – particularly in rural and underserved communities. This is the largest increase in Medicare-funded residency slots in over 25 years.

Recently, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) announced the initial distribution of 200 new GME residency positions as part of the 2020 law.  CMS will announce the additional 800 residency slots in the coming years.

Iowa Hospital  Round I Positions Awarded  
Iowa Methodist Medical Center (UnityPoint) 2.92
MercyOne Waterloo Medical Center  3.00

Hospitals must apply to receive the funding. The program supplements other federal, state and local programs along with hospital funds to support medical residency positions.


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