Essential hospitals pen letter to Congress against impending Medicaid DSH cuts

Hundreds of hospitals and health systems are urging Congress to stop impending cuts to Medicaid Disproportionate Share Hospital allotments under the ACA.

The organizations, which include America's Essential Hospitals members and others, expressed their opposition in a Sept. 12 letter to House and Senate lawmakers.

CMS issued a proposed rule in July that includes a methodology for implementing the cuts. Under the rule, Medicaid DSH payments, which help compensate hospitals that provide care to a large number of poor and uninsured patients, would be cut by $43 billion by fiscal year 2025. Cuts are slated to begin next month.

In the letter, hospitals and health system leaders said the cuts "would be detrimental to America's healthcare safety net and would significantly reduce our hospitals' ability to provide essential services to the communities you represent." They added, "The far-reaching effects would limit your constituents' access to care and hurt our local economies, including by eliminating jobs."

They ended their letter by asking Congress to delay the cuts, which are slated to be $2 billion in fiscal year 2018. Congress has previously delayed the start of reductions. The cuts were initially expected to begin in fiscal year 2014.


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