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May 31, 2019 (Cleveland)

The Center Urges Members of Congress to Delay Medicaid Disproportionate Share Hospital Funding Cuts



The Center for Health Affairs newsA substantial collaborative effort is underway to enact a two-year delay of the funding cuts set to kick in this fall under the Medicaid disproportionate share hospital (DSH) program. In early May, The Center for Health Affairs successfully played a role by reaching out to the Northeast Ohio congressional delegation, the majority of whom ultimately lent their support.

In a letter to Reps. Marcia Fudge, Bob Gibbs, Anthony Gonzalez, Marcy Kaptur, Jim Jordan, Dave Joyce and Tim Ryan, The Center requested their participation in a “Dear Colleague” letter that was circulating in the House. That letter, addressed to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, was a request by members of the House for leadership to move forward with a delay of the funding cuts for at least two years, until a more sustainable, permanent solution can be reached.

Ultimately, that letter was delivered to the Speaker and Minority Leader with 302 signatures, including five of the seven members of the Northeast Ohio congressional delegation. The Center received a favorable reply from Rep. Kaptur’s office as well as from Rep. Gonzalez when he was on-site for a meeting in late April. Also signing on were Reps. Fudge, Joyce and Ryan.

The Medicaid DSH cuts, which are scheduled to begin Oct. 1, call for a $4 billion reduction in funding in federal fiscal year 2020 and will grow to $8 billion in 2021. The Ohio Hospital Association calculates that for Ohio, this would mean a statewide loss of over $1.725 billion over the six years currently slated for reductions. That represents an average reduction in Ohio’s Medicaid DSH allotment of approximately 62% each year for six years.

The Medicaid disproportionate share hospital funding cuts, which were called for under the Affordable Care Act, have been delayed by Congress in a bipartisan manner multiple times to date. While there is overwhelming support in the House, a delay will likely face hurdles in the Senate, where Senate Finance Committee Chairman Charles Grassley (R-IA) has insisted that it be fully offset.

This a developing story. More information will be posted when it becomes available.

MORE: For more on The Center’s advocacy efforts on reimbursement issues, including the Medicaid disproportionate share hospital funding cuts, contact us.

TWEETABLE: #NEOhio Congress members & @neohospitals support delay of #Medicaid disproportionate share hospital funding cuts.