Although only 25 percent of the state’s acute-care hospitals, Pennsylvania’s private safety-net hospitals account for 45 percent of the $1 billion in uncompensated care those hospitals provide to uninsured Pennsylvanians every year.
And now, as the governor and legislature consider the state’s FY 2015 budget, the Safety-Net Association of Pennsylvania is urging those officials to preserve state payments that help qualified hospitals with those uncompensated care costs and enable them to continue constituting the core of Pennsylvania’s health care safety net.
Tobacco Uncompensated Care Fund payments are supplemental state payments to hospitals that provide significant amounts of uncompensated care; they are underwritten by proceeds from the national master tobacco settlement of 1998 and matched by the federal government. As lawmakers work on the state’s FY 2015 budget, SNAP is urging them to expend available FY 2014 funding already authorized for this purpose and not to use FY 2015 tobacco settlement funding for any purpose other than what was prescribed in Act 71 of 2013.
These views and background information on the role private safety-net hospitals play in caring for low-income, Medicaid-covered, and uninsured Pennsylvanians are addressed in a new SNAP position paper, “The Importance of Preserving Uncompensated Care Payments.” Find that position paper here.