The American Hospital Association is urging the passage of a House bill that would delay cuts to the Medicaid Disproportionate Share Hospital program until fiscal year 2026.
Without congressional action, beginning Oct. 1, DSH allotments will be reduced by $8 billion a year from 2024 through 2027.
The American Hospital Association said in an April 20 letter to House Committee on Energy and Commerce leaders that the reductions to the program were enacted as part of the ACA with the reasoning that hospitals would have less uncompensated care as health insurance coverage increased.
“Unfortunately, the projected coverage levels have not been realized and hospitals continue to care for patients for whom they are not receiving payment,” the AHA said in the letter. “The redetermination process that [began] on April 1 may also lead to additional individuals becoming uninsured as states decide who remains eligible for the Medicaid program.”
The AHA added that hospitals are dealing with financial instability due to the long-lasting effects of the COVID-19 pandemic as well as increased inflationary costs.
“Consequently, the need for the Medicaid DSH payments is still vital for the hospitals that rely on the program,” the AHA said.