The regulation has already been finalized but hospitals continue to protest Medicare’s intention to reduce their Medicare disproportionate share (Medicare DSH) uncompensated care payments.
The cut, proposed at $115 million in April, when the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services proposed it, ended up just shy of $1 billion in the final regulation. The major change, according to CMS, comes because the agency’s actuaries have projected a lower uninsured rate than when CMS proposed the $115 million cut in the spring.
Medicare DSH payments are intended to help hospitals that care for especially large numbers of uninsured patients with the cost of providing such care.
Protesting hospitals point to the end of the COVID-19 pandemic’s continuous Medicaid eligibility, which has already removed four million people from the Medicaid rolls, to support their continued need for Medicare DSH uncompensated care money. CMS counters that many of those people will find alternative health insurance.
Even though CMS has already finalized the Medicare DSH cut, opponents of the cut maintain that the agency has the authority to reverse course in time for FY 2024.
Learn more about the hospital industry’s continued fight to reverse FY 2024 Medicare DSH cuts from the Axios article “Hospitals push back on safety-net payment cuts.”