Manatt Health Partner Anne Karl was quoted in Bloomberg Law on the potential upcoming cuts in federal funding for safety net hospitals in light of the latest round of reductions in Disproportionate Share Hospital (DSH) payments.
According to the article, DSH payments provide supplemental funding to hospitals typically serving low-income or uninsured patients and undergo annual evaluations to reduce these payments as more individuals are assumed to enroll in health-care coverage. However, Karl noted that the stakes for hospital groups to persuade lawmakers to postpone the cuts for the upcoming round are significant, as state Medicaid agencies will soon begin eligibility checks for their beneficiaries, which had been suspended during the public health emergency (PHE).
Once the PHE unwinding is here, the number of uninsured patients will likely grow, leaving hospitals in need of these DSH payments. “It’s just a really tricky moment,” Karl said. “I think a loss of $8 billion in DSH payments would be very painful at any point, but I think at this particular moment, given everything that’s going on with rising costs, hospitals fighting for supplies and workforce, in addition to the PHE unwinding. All of those factors come together to make this a particularly difficult time for the DSH payments cuts to take effect.”
Bloomberg Law subscribers can read the full article here.