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MACPAC Makes DSH, UPL Recommendations

Changes could come in Medicaid DSH and UPL payments if new MACPAC recommendations are adopted. Last week the Medicaid and CHIP Payment and Access Commission released its annual report to Congress, with most of the report focusing on its analysis and recommendations for policy updates involving Medicaid disproportionate share hospital payments (Medicaid DSH) and Medicaid upper payment limit payments (UPL payments). With Affordable Care Act-mandated cuts in Medicaid DSH payments scheduled to start in FY 2020 – this coming October – MACPAC recommended that these cuts be reduced and phased in over a longer period of time “…to give states and hospitals more time to respond to the cuts…” MACPAC also recommended that Congress and the administration revise the current … Read More

Posted in DSH hospitals, Federal Medicaid issues, Medicaid supplemental payments, Pennsylvania safety-net hospitals, Safety-Net Association of Pennsylvania

“Medicaid Shortfall” Definition Changing?

The Medicaid and CHIP Payment and Access Commission last week discussed possible changes in how “Medicaid shortfall” is defined for the purpose of determining how much Medicaid disproportionate share money (Medicaid DSH) safety-net hospitals should receive. The discussion came in the wake of a court decision last year that ruled that third-party payments toward Medicaid-covered services could not be included in hospitals’ Medicaid shortfall calculations. MACPAC commissioners discussed several statutory changes that would seek to minimize the impact of the court ruling: Include third-party payments in the definition of Medicaid shortfall. Exclude from the Medicaid DSH definition of Medicaid shortfall all payments and costs for patients who have third-party coverage. Explore new rules that address different types of third-party coverage. … Read More

Posted in DSH hospitals, Federal Medicaid issues, Medicaid supplemental payments, Pennsylvania safety-net hospitals

MACPAC: Slow Medicaid DSH Cuts

Slow the pace of scheduled cuts in Medicaid disproportionate share hospital payments (Medicaid DSH), the non-partisan agency that advises Congress and the administration will tell Congress in its next report of policy recommendations. The Medicaid and CHIP Payment and Access Commission voted 16-1 recently to recommend to Congress that Medicaid DSH cuts, mandated by the Affordable Care Act but delayed three times by Congress, be reduced in size and spread out over a longer period of time. Currently, Medicaid DSH allotments to the states are scheduled to be reduced $4 billion in FY 2020 and then $8 billion a year in FY 2021 through FY 2025.  MACPAC recommends that the cuts be reduced to $2 billion in FY 2020, $4 … Read More

Posted in Affordable Care Act, DSH hospitals, Federal Medicaid issues, Medicaid supplemental payments, Pennsylvania safety-net hospitals

MACPAC Meets

The Medicaid and CHIP Payment and Access Commission met for two days last week in Washington, D.C. The following is MACPAC’s own summary of the sessions. Hospital payment was a key focus of MACPAC’s January meeting with the Commission voting on Thursday to approve two sets of recommendations, the first addressing the structure of disproportionate share hospital (DSH) allotment reductions and the second directed to improving compliance with upper payment limit requirements. Both sets of recommendations are slated for inclusion in MACPAC’s March 2019 Report to Congress on Medicaid and CHIP. Later that morning, the Commission discussed a study on performance and return on investment for state program integrity strategies. This session was originally scheduled for the December meeting. Following … Read More

Posted in DSH hospitals, Federal Medicaid issues, Medicaid supplemental payments

Bill Would Overhaul Medicaid DSH

A new Senate proposal would change how the federal government allocates Medicaid disproportionate share money (Medicaid DSH) to the states. The State Accountability, Flexibility, and Equity (SAFE) for Hospitals Act, introduced by Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL), seeks to …create equity for all states by updating a metric used to determine how much each state is allotted, which has not been reformed since the early 1990s. A news release issued by Senator Rubio explains that the bill Gradually changes the DSH allocation formula so states’ allocations are based on the number of low-income earners living in the state, as a percentage, of the total U.S. population earning less than 100% of the Federal Poverty Level (FPL). Prioritizes DSH funding to hospitals … Read More

Posted in Federal Medicaid issues, Medicaid supplemental payments, Pennsylvania safety-net hospitals

MACPAC Looks at Medicaid DSH

Last week the federal Medicaid and CHIP Payment and Access Commission met in Washington, D.C. and one of the subjects on its agenda was Medicaid DSH. The Affordable Care Act mandated major reductions of Medicaid disproportionate share (Medicaid DSH) allotments to states and those reductions have been delayed by Congress several times but are now scheduled to begin in FY 2020. At the MACPAC meeting the commission’s staff presented three proposed recommendations that address Medicaid DSH allotments; these recommendations were based on a consensus reached by MACPAC commissioners at their October meeting.  Those recommendations are: Phase in Medicaid DSH reductions more gradually over a longer period of time. Apply reductions to unspent DSH funds first. Distribute reductions in a way … Read More

Posted in DSH hospitals, Federal Medicaid issues, Medicaid supplemental payments, Pennsylvania safety-net hospitals

MACPAC Meets

The Medicaid and CHIP Payment and Access Commission met for two days last week in Washington, D.C. The following is MACPAC’s own summary of the sessions. The October 2018 MACPAC meeting covered a range of front-line issues in Medicaid, leading off with an analysis of disproportionate share hospital (DSH) allotments on Thursday morning. Following the analysis, the Commission discussed options for March recommendations on how to structure DSH allotment reductions that are scheduled to begin in fiscal year 2020. The Commission later resumed the discussion it began in September on work and community engagement requirements, presenting new data from Arkansas on compliance and disenrollments, as well as information gathered since that meeting about Arkansas’s approach to implementation. On Thursday afternoon, … Read More

Posted in DSH hospitals, Federal Medicaid issues, Medicaid supplemental payments, Pennsylvania safety-net hospitals

MACPAC Meets

The Medicaid and CHIP Payment and Access Commission, a non-partisan legislative branch agency that advises Congress, the administration, and the states on Medicaid and CHIP issues, met publicly in Washington, D.C. last week. The following is MACPAC’s own summary of its two days of meetings. The April 2018 meeting began with session on social determinants of health. Panelists Jocelyn Guyer of Manatt Health Solutions, Arlene Ash of the University of Massachusetts Medical School, and Kevin Moore of UnitedHealthcare Community & State discussed state approaches to financing social interventions through Medicaid. In its second morning session, the Commission reviewed a draft chapter of the June 2018 Report to Congress on Medicaid and CHIP on the adequacy of the care delivery system … Read More

Posted in Federal Medicaid issues, Medicaid supplemental payments

Court Rebuffs CMS on Medicaid DSH

A federal court has rejected the manner in which the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services collects certain Medicaid data from states in a ruling that has potential implications for eligible hospitals’ Medicaid disproportionate share hospital payments (Medicaid DSH). In a case that challenged how CMS told hospitals to report third-party payments for Medicaid patients, the court ruled against CMS in two different ways:  first, it found that CMS had not interpreted a 2003 law in a manner consistent with congressional intent; and second, it ruled that CMS could not clarify its interpretation through a published FAQ rather than through regulations. As a result of the ruling, some hospitals may get extra room under their hospital-specific Medicaid DSH limit.  For … Read More

Posted in Federal Medicaid issues, Medicaid supplemental payments

The Continued Need for Medicaid DSH

While the Affordable Care Act has greatly increased the number of Americans with health insurance and reduced the demand for uncompensated care from hospitals, many hospitals still see significant numbers of uninsured patients. Some of those patients simply have not taken advantage of the health reform law’s creation of easier access to affordable insurance while others live in states that have not expanded their Medicaid programs. Hospitals that care for especially large numbers of such uninsured patients qualify for Medicaid disproportionate share hospital payments, commonly referred to as Medicaid DSH.  The purpose of these payments is to help these hospitals with the unreimbursed costs they incur caring for such patients. The Affordable Care Act calls for reducing Medicaid DSH payments … Read More

Posted in Affordable Care Act, Federal Medicaid issues, Medicaid supplemental payments
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