The Supreme Court will hear a challenge to how the federal government calculates Medicare disproportionate share hospital payments (Medicare DSH) for hospitals that serve especially large numbers of low-income patients.

At the heart of the issue is the Department of Health and Human Services’ contention that patients who are enrolled in Social Security’s Supplemental Security Income program but are not receiving supplemental payments at the time of their admission to a hospital should not count toward a hospital’s percentage of low-income patients in the calculation of Medicare DSH payments.  A 2022 federal appeals court decision supported HHS’s approach.

Medicare DSH payments are a major source of funding for the care community safety-net hospitals provide to the low-income, Medicaid-covered, and uninsured residents of their communities.

Learn more about the challenge from the Roll Call article “Supreme Court to decide Medicare reimbursement issue.”