MACPAC issues first report to Congress on Medicaid DSH program

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The Department of Health and Human Services should collect and report hospital-specific data on all types of Medicaid payments for all hospitals that receive them, the Medicaid and CHIP Payment and Access Commission today recommended in its first annual report to Congress on the Medicaid Disproportionate Share Hospital program. Among other key findings, the commission said Medicaid DSH funds should be better targeted toward states and hospitals that serve a disproportionate share of Medicaid and low-income patients and have high levels of uncompensated care. According to the report, two-thirds of Medicaid DSH funds currently go to hospitals that have a high share of Medicaid and low-income patients. For future reports, the commission said it will continue to analyze policy approaches to improve the targeting of Medicaid DSH payments, such as modifying the program’s hospital eligibility standards, redefining eligible uncompensated care costs, and rebasing the state DSH allotments. The Protecting Access to Medicare Act of 2014 requires MACPAC to submit an annual report to Congress on Medicaid DSH payments. “The Medicaid DSH program continues to provide critical support for hospitals as they care for the uninsured in their communities,” said Ashley Thompson, senior vice president for public policy analysis and development. “We urge MACPAC to focus more closely on the link between adequate hospital payment and the DSH program, which has played a vital role in helping DSH hospitals ensure access to needed health care services." In other news today, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services announced the final federal Medicaid DSH allotments and limits for fiscal year 2013, and the preliminary allotments and limits for FY 2015.

Topic: Advocacy and Public Policy
Tag: Medicaid

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