Last week representatives of the National Association of Urban Hospitals (NAUH) met with staff of the House Ways and Means Committee’s Health Subcommittee to offer the association’s views on H.R. 3288, the Strengthening DSH and Medicare Through Subsidy Recapture and Payment Reform Act.

NAUH LogoThe bill calls for significant changes in how Medicare makes disproportionate share payments (Medicare DSH) to hospitals.

After talking to committee staff about the role Medicare DSH payments play in enabling private safety-net hospitals to serve their low-income communities, NAUH representatives expressed concern about three aspects of the proposal:

  • its call for a new, permanent, unchanging sum for allocation for the non-uncompensated care portion of the Medicare DSH pool;
  • the permanent separation of Medicare DSH payments from Medicare payments; and
  • the creation of a new, $1 billion pool of Medicare DSH funds for hospitals in states that have not expanded their Medicaid programs as authorized by the Affordable Care Act.

NAUH was invited to meet with subcommittee staff because it is one of the few groups that expressed any concern about the Medicare DSH proposal and because of the substance of its past communication with the subcommittee about Medicare payment issues, including its use of data to support its views.

Read those comments here.