Modern Healthcare Quotes Deborah Bachrach on Disproportionate Share Hospital Payments
"Bumpy Road Ahead"
December 15, 2012 - Modern Healthcare quoted Manatt's Deborah Bachrach, a special counsel in the firm's Healthcare Transaction & Policy Practice, on the uncertainty surrounding disproportionate share hospital (DSH) payments under the health reform law.
As reported by Modern Healthcare, the Obama administration recently undertook an aggressive push to settle uncertainty about the Medicaid provisions of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services issued a letter to governors aimed at addressing questions on flexibility and state responsibilities.
The agency also promised rules next year that clarify the extent of cuts to DSH payments, thereby spurring more questions. Hospitals have raised concerns that they could face the double impact of their states not expanding Medicaid coverage to include many of their uninsured patients and the healthcare law cutting their DSH payments. DSH payment cuts could vary between states based on how they use their DSH payments to reduce their numbers of uninsured.
States will be weighing their worries over DSH payments against other factors. Some states that expand Medicaid could reduce their spending on non-Medicaid health programs funded solely by the state, such as those for mental illness and substance-abuse treatment, said Bachrach.