A bipartisan group of 221 representatives sent a Sept. 28 letter to House leadership requesting a two-year delay of the Medicaid disproportionate share hospital (DSH) payment cuts. The letter, spearheaded by Reps. Eliot Engel (D-N.Y.), John Culberson (R-Texas), and Steven M. Palazzo (R-Miss.) argued that the cuts, scheduled to take effect on Oct. 1, would severely hamper the ability of DSH hospitals to continue serving low-income and uninsured patients.
The Medicaid DSH payments are aimed at sustaining hospitals that serve a disproportionate share of low-income and uninsured patients. There have been several bipartisan efforts to delay the cuts, which amount to $2 billion in FY18 and increasing annually until reaching $8 billion by FY24.
The impact of the cuts is described in the letter, “Our nation’s hospitals cannot sustain losses of this magnitude. Institutions will be forced to shutter, leaving our constituents without a safety net.”