Congress urged not to cut funds to hospitals in states that don't expand Medicaid

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Eight organizations representing hospitals and health systems urged Congress Nov. 1 to remove cuts in funding from the disproportionate share hospital program and uncompensated care program from the social spending bill. 

In the version of the Build Back Better Act released Oct. 28, states that haven't expanded their Medicaid programs would face a reduction in Medicaid DSH allotments and federal funding for uncompensated care. The organizations said the cuts could be as much as $7.8 billion over10 years. Under the act, if a state chooses to discontinue its Medicaid expansion, its DSH allotments would be reduced as well.  

DSH payments are given to safety-net facilities that take care of a large portion of uninsured or Medicaid patients in an effort to keep them financially stable.

The eight organizations argue that reductions in DSH allotments would be an "additional hardship for hospitals" in states that didn't expand Medicaid and "make it difficult for hospitals in those states to continue to serve their patients and their communities."

"While we appreciate the goal of increasing coverage to residents in states that did not expand their Medicaid programs through the Affordable Care Act (ACA), it should not come at the expense of vital funding to facilities located in those parts of the country, especially at a time when hospitals are still providing care due to the COVID-19 pandemic and the deadly Delta variant," the groups wrote. 

The organizations that signed the letter are: 

  • America's Essential Hospitals
  • American Hospital Association
  • Association of American Medical Colleges
  • Catholic Health Association of the United States
  • Federation of American Hospitals
  • National Association for Behavioral Healthcare
  • Premier 
  • Vizient

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