York County Medicine Winter 2019 - 34

YO R K C O M E D S O C . O R G

IN THE NEWS:

Protecting residents and
fellows displaced by unexpected
teaching hospital closures

I

n light of the recent closure of Hahnemann University
Hospital, which displaced more than 570 residents and
fellows, the AMA adopted policy aimed at ensuring residents
and fellows impacted by unexpected teaching hospital closures
are financially and professionally protected. Specifically, the new
policy calls for the AMA to urgently partner with interested parties
to identify viable options to secure malpractice insurance "tail
coverage" for residents and fellows impacted by the Hahnemann
closure, covering their time at Hahnemann, and also for residents
and fellows impacted by any future teaching hospital closures, at no
cost to those who are displaced. Under the new policy, the AMA
will also work with the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services
(CMS) to establish regulations that will help protect residents and
fellows affected by training program closures.
Pennsylvania law requires that physicians, residents and fellows
have malpractice tail coverage from their previous employers.
"We have an ethical obligation to do everything we can to provide
assistance to physicians-in-training who are left in professional and
financial limbo after their teaching institution closes unexpectedly.
By no fault of their own, these residents and fellows are forced to
find new training programs and many face deep financial hardships
as a result," said AMA Board Chair Jesse M. Ehrenfeld, M.D. "We
are committed to working together with other organizations to help

34

York County Medicine | WINTER 2019

protect these students and help eliminate financial and regulatory
barriers as they seek new residencies, relocate and transition to their
new training programs."
In July, after Hahnemann University Hospital closed its doors,
the AMA issued a letter to CMS urging it to offer an increased
level of support, technical guidance, and applicable waivers for
any rules or regulations creating barriers for displaced residents
and fellows. The AMA also simultaneously sent a letter to the U.S.
Department of State, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services,
calling on them to waive the grace-period requirement under the
J-1 physician visa program for the impacted physicians-in-training.
Additionally, the AMA, in partnership with the Philadelphia
County Medical Society and the Pennsylvania Medical Society,
led an effort to support the moving expenses for the displaced
Hahnemann residents and fellows-raising a total of $125,000
in contributions from the AMA, AMA Foundation, American
Osteopathic Association, American Board of Medical Specialties,
and Association of American Medical Colleges. The Education
Commission for Foreign Medical Graduates also provided
substantial administrative and financial assistance to International
Medical Graduate residents and fellows who were affected by the
closing.


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York County Medicine Winter 2019

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