House members call for DSH cut delay

May 15, 2019

Three hundred and two members of the House of Representatives – including eight from Washington State – this week urged House leaders to work to delay for at least two years the Medicaid disproportionate share hospital cuts scheduled to take effect October 1.

Failure to delay the cuts will result in a $4 billion reduction in Medicaid DSH cuts on October 1 and an $8 billion cut in FY 2021. “Our nation’s hospitals cannot sustain losses of this magnitude,” the lawmakers said in their letter.

Medicaid DSH payments were created “to sustain hospitals that serve a disproportionate number of low-income and uninsured patients,” the members wrote. “In treating those who have nowhere else to turn, these hospitals incur uncompensated costs. Furthermore, these hospitals typically operate on very narrow, or even negative, margins.

“Medicaid DSH payments allow them to continue serving our constituents and communities,” They continued. “Medicaid DSH payments not only support hospitals in cities across the country, these payments are also especially important to rural hospitals.”

Washington State Reps. Suzan DelBene, Rick Larson, Jaime Herrera Beutler, Dan Newhouse, Derek Kilmer, Pramila Jayapal, Kim Schrier and Denny Heck were among the signors. (John Flink)


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