WATERTOWN, N.Y. (WWTI) — New funding is coming to Samaritan Medical Center to allow for more resident physicians.

As of January 10, 2023, Samaritan Medical Center will be funded by Medicare for 2.92 additional resident physician slots.

This funding is through Medicare’s Direct Graduate Medical Education and Indirect Medical Education slots through the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services.

In previous years, Samaritan lost part of its Medicare-resident cap, which reduced the number of medical residents subsidized by 2.71 slots.

But according to Congresswoman Elise Stefanik, rural hospitals with fewer than 250 beds, like Samaritan, are exempt from this reduction. Congresswoman Stefanik announced this funding and considered it a win for the North Country.

“Rural hospitals like Samaritan Medical Center offer a critical lifeline for our communities in Upstate New York and the North Country,” Rep Stefanik said in a press release. “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.”

Samaritan Chief Executive Officer Thomas Carman also commented on the new funding. He said this will help the hospital strengthen its abilities.

“The importance of Medicare-funded residency slots to us here in Watertown and across the North Country cannot be understated,” Carman said. “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 strengthening rural health care, and we thank her for her continued work on this issue.”

The additional resident physician positions will be effective at Samaritan Medical Center on July 1, 2023.