KHN Morning Briefing

Summaries of health policy coverage from major news organizations

Administration Issues Proposed Rule On Medicaid DSH Payment Reductions

These payments, known as disproportionate share hospital payments, go to hospitals that treat a high number of uninsured patients.

Politico: W.H. Plans To Delay Medicaid DSH Payment Cuts
The Obama administration has proposed delaying a potentially painful decision on whether to penalize states that refuse to expand Medicaid coverage for low-income populations under Obamacare. The national health care law calls for a gradual reduction in special federal payments — known as Disproportionate Share Hospital or DSH payments — to hospitals that take care of large numbers of uninsured patients. The idea of reducing the DSH payments, which totaled $11.3 billion in 2011, was tied to the fact that the health law's coverage expansion would reduce the burden on hospitals. If more people get covered, the hospitals should have to provide less uncompensated care (Millman, 5/14).

Kaiser Health News: Capsules: CMS Won't Penalize Hospitals In States Slow To Expand Medicaid
That sigh of relief you heard Monday was from hospital administrators in nearly two dozen states, including Florida and Texas. That's because the Obama administration announced that for the next two years, it doesn't plan to penalize states that have yet to expand Medicaid coverage under the federal health law by targeting them for reduced Medicaid funding, according to a proposed rule unveiled Monday. That money goes to hospitals that treat large numbers of poor people (Galewitz, 5/14).

The Wall Street Journal: Health Officials Detail Payment Cuts For Uninsured
The Obama administration on Monday published a plan for cuts in payments for hospitals that treat many uninsured patients and said states that decline to expand their Medicaid programs under the 2010 health law won't get preferential treatment. The federal government currently sends about $11 billion a year to states to help cover the costs of uncompensated care. The health law called for cuts in those payments, assuming that most Americans would have insurance coverage after the law took effect (Radnofsky, 5/13).

Reuters: U.S. Proposes Rule On Medicaid Payment Cuts For Hospitals
The U.S. government on Monday issued a proposed rule for cutting payments to hospitals that treat a disproportionate share of the poor, including a $500 million reduction in fiscal 2014, as part of President Barack Obama's healthcare reform law. The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act mandates annual reductions in Medicaid payments to hospitals through fiscal 2020 in exchange for increased insurance coverage options that are expected to reduce levels of uncompensated care (5/13).

Miami Herald: Jackson And Other Hospitals May Face Cuts In Pay For Uninsured, Under Healthcare Reform
Florida hospitals that treat many uninsured patients will lose millions of dollars in funding meant to offset those costs, according to a proposal unveiled Monday by federal health officials who had anticipated that more Americans would have access to insurance under the Affordable Care Act, reducing the amount of uncompensated care delivered by hospitals. In announcing the proposed cuts, federal health officials said they would not give preferential treatment, at least at first, to states that declined to expand Medicaid, such as Florida (Chang, 5/13).

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