Scheduled cuts in Medicaid DSH payments to hospitals will be delayed until at least late May under new federal spending legislation.
The cuts in Medicaid disproportionate share allotments to the states, mandated by the Affordable Care Act and delayed several times by Congress – including twice in FY 2020 alone under continuing resolutions to fund the federal government – are among a number of so-called “extenders” included in spending bills passed by Congress this week and sent to the president for his signature.
Authorization for delaying the cut in allotments to the states, which would have resulted in reduced Medicaid DSH payments for many hospitals – including private safety-net hospitals – would expire on May 22. Congress is expected to address Medicaid DSH, along with surprise medical bills, the price of prescription drugs, and other health care matters, before that time.
SNAP has argued against Medicaid DSH cuts for a number of years, doing so most recently in an October 2019 message to members of Pennsylvania’s congressional delegation in which it wrote that
Should the Medicaid DSH cut take effect, Pennsylvania would lose 40 percent of its federal Medicaid DSH allotment in FY 2020 and 80 percent of its allotment each year from FY 2021 to FY 2025. Such devastating cuts could jeopardize access to care for the state’s uninsured and jeopardize the ability of the state’s safety-net hospitals to serve them. It is essential, for the sake of Pennsylvania’s health care safety net and the communities and patients that safety net serves, that the Medicaid DSH cut continue to be delayed.
Learn more about the delay in Medicaid DSH cuts and other aspects of this recent health care spending legislation in the Becker’s Hospital Review article “Congress unveils $1.3T spending deal: 5 healthcare takeaways.”