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  • Washington Highlights

    Hospital Associations Urge Congress to Delay Medicaid DSH Cuts

    Jason Kleinman, Senior Legislative Analyst, Govt. Relations

    The AAMC, along with seven other national hospital associations, sent a letter Feb. 19 urging Congressional leaders to delay the start of the Medicaid Disproportionate Share Hospital (DSH) payment cuts. The cuts are scheduled to begin on Oct. 1, 2019, unless Congress acts.

    The letter, sent to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) and Democratic Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.), along with Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) and Republican Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.), highlights the importance of the Medicaid DSH program. It notes, “Currently, about half of all hospitals in the United States receive payments to address Medicaid underpayment and uncompensated care, which allow them to provide critical community services such as trauma and burn care, high-risk neonatal care and disaster preparedness resources.”

    Congress has delayed the beginning of the Medicaid DSH cuts several times. Under current law, the $4 billion cut will begin in fiscal year (FY) 2020 and continue at a rate of $8 billion per year between FYs 2021-2025. The hospital associations are calling on Congress to “once again delay the start of the Medicaid DSH cuts given the vital need for this program.”