The AAMC Sept. 18 joined eight other organizations representing hospitals and health systems in letters urging the House and Senate to delay the start of Medicaid disproportionate share hospital (DSH) payment cuts.
The Affordable Care Act (ACA, P.L. 111-148 and P.L. 111-152) initially reduced Medicaid DSH payments under the assumption that uncompensated care costs would decrease as health care coverage increased. The cuts, which have been modified and delayed several times, are now scheduled to begin in fiscal year (FY) 2018 and total $43 billion over eight years.
The letters state, “Unfortunately, the coverage rates envisioned under the ACA have not been fully realized, and tens of millions of Americans remain uninsured. In addition, Medicaid underpayment continues to pose ongoing financial challenges for hospitals treating our nation’s most vulnerable citizens. Congress recognized the need for the Medicaid DSH program to continue to be fully funded by delaying the start of the cuts over the past four years…We urge that you once again delay the start of the Medicaid DSH cuts given the vital need for the program to continue fully funded.”