Medicaid DSH

Federal Health Policy Update for April 12

The following is the latest health policy news from the federal government for April 5-11.  Some of the language used below is taken directly from government documents. CMS – Proposed FY 2025 Medicare Inpatient Prospective Payment System Regulation Earlier this week CMS issued its proposed FY 2025 Medicare inpatient prospective payment system regulation – the rule under which it envisions paying acute-care hospitals, critical access hospitals, and long-term care hospitals for inpatient care in the coming fiscal year.  Highlights of the proposed rule include: Rate increases of 2.6 percent for acute-care and critical access hospitals and 2.8 percent for LTCHs. [...]

MACPAC to Talk Medicaid Financing, Supplemental Payments, More

Members of the Medicaid and CHIP Payment and Access Commission will meet publicly on Thursday, April 11 and Friday, April 12. Subjects on the two-day session’s agenda include: Medicaid and children’s health insurance program (CHIP) financing access to home- and community-based services supplemental Medicaid hospital payments such as Medicaid disproportionate share (Medicaid DSH) Medicaid unwinding recommendations for MACPAC’s June report to Congress Go here for a closer look at the MACPAC meeting agenda and for information about how to participate in the meeting.

MACPAC Issues Annual Report to Congress

The Medicaid and CHIP Payment and Access Commission has issued its annual report to Congress. This year’s MACPAC report primarily addresses three issues: How state Medicaid agencies can improve beneficiary engagement with state medical care advisory committees and what the federal government can do to facilitate that engagement. The current process for monitoring and overseeing denials of care and appeals of those denials by Medicaid managed care plans and how states and the federal government can improve those processes and make them more transparent. MACPAC’s annual review of Medicaid disproportionate share (Medicaid DSH) allotments to states. MACPAC is a non-partisan [...]

Federal Health Policy Update for March 7

The following is the latest health policy news from the federal government for March 1-7.  Some of the language used below is taken directly from government documents. Congress On Wednesday, March 16 the House passed, by a vote of 339-85, the first package of spending bills to fund some federal agencies through the remainder of the 2024 federal fiscal year.  The House bills include several health care provisions extending programs that were set to expire on Friday, March 8.  The bills would extend the following provisions and programs through December 31, 2024: The continued delay of cuts to Medicaid disproportionate [...]

Federal Health Policy Update for February 29

The following is the latest health policy news from the federal government for February 23-29.  Some of the language used below is taken directly from government documents. Congress This afternoon the House passed H.R. 7463, which changed the dates for the March 1 and March 8 funding deadlines to March 8 and March 22 and includes no new health care policies.  Health care extenders included in the current continuing resolution, including the delay to Medicaid DSH cuts, are not included in the bill that passed the House; the March 8 expiration date still applies to those extenders. The new continuing [...]

Medicaid DSH Cut In, Medicare Site-Neutral Payments Out of Health Bill?

With Congress at a stalemate on spending legislation, lawmakers are considering a narrower scope of issues to address in near-term health care legislation. According to published reports, scheduled cuts in Medicaid disproportionate share allotments to states (Medicaid DSH), already delayed several times, could be delayed once again. In addition, a proposal to require Medicare to pay for outpatient services on a site-neutral basis, rather than paying higher rates to hospital-based outpatient departments higher rates, might not be included. Also under consideration:  restoring some cuts in Medicare’s payments to physicians and additional funding for community health centers. Also in jeopardy at [...]

New Way of Calculating Medicaid DSH

Hospitals will soon see federal regulators take a new approach to calculating their Medicaid DSH payments. Specifically, their Medicaid disproportionate share hospital-specific payment limit. A new CMS regulation changes how third-party payments are factored into the calculation of hospitals’ Medicaid disproportionate share hospital-specific payment limit.  That limit, in turn, affects hospitals’ Medicaid DSH payments. This final rule implements changes CMS proposed last year to comply with a congressional mandate to include in the calculation of hospitals’ Medicaid disproportionate share hospital-specific payment limits only costs and payments for services furnished to beneficiaries for whom Medicaid is the primary payer; this means [...]

Federal Health Policy Update for February 22

The following is the latest health policy news from the federal government for February 16-22.  Some of the language used below is taken directly from government documents. CMS and Medicaid DSH Payments CMS has published a final rule governing how third-party payers are factored into the calculation of hospitals’ Medicaid disproportionate share hospital-specific payment limit.  This change requires that the calculation be based solely on Medicaid costs and payments and that costs and payments associated with dually eligible (Medicare and Medicaid) patients be excluded from the calculation of that limit.  The effect of this change is that hospitals that are [...]

Proposal Would Establish New “Essential Health System” Designation

The newly proposed “Reinforcing Essential Health Systems for Communities Act” would create a new federal hospital designation that would create a mechanism for directing more federal resources to safety-net hospitals that care for more low-income and uninsured patients. The bipartisan bill, sponsored by Representatives Lori Trahan (D-MA) and David Valadao (R-CA), would, according to Rep. Trahan, … provide federal lawmakers with the avenues necessary to target funding and resources to these critical facilities – just as we’ve done with other types of hospitals that serve specific populations or regions. Hospitals would qualify for “essential health system” status by meeting one [...]

Congress Spares Medicaid DSH Cut – for Now

An oft-delayed cut in Medicaid disproportionate share allotments to states was delayed once again in the latest temporary spending bill passed by Congress last week. The stopgap spending bill, which runs until March 8, delays an $8 billion a year cut in Medicaid DSH payments that was part of the Affordable Care Act and has been put off by Congress on numerous occasions ever since. The reduction was envisioned as an appropriate move in anticipation of a significant increase in uninsured Americans after the 2010 reform law’s passage.  While that increase has occurred, many hospitals continue to care for significant [...]

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