Noteworthy News

NAUH Takes Position on New Medicare DSH Payments

The National Association of Urban Hospitals is asking Congress to direct the administration to delay implementation of Affordable Care Act-mandated changes in the Medicare disproportionate share hospital payment program (Medicare DSH scheduled to take effect on October 1.

One of the key factors in determining future Medicare DSH payments to hospitals is how much uncompensated care those hospitals provide.  According to the new NAUH position paper “Implementation of the New Medicare DSH Policy Under the Affordable Care Act,” different providers define uncompensated care in different ways, only some providers report local, county, and state revenue intended to help offset some uncompensated care costs, and the directions for submitting uncompensated care data on the Medicare cost report’s S-10 worksheet are insufficient to prevent the significant reporting anomalies that NAUH’s research has uncovered.

If implemented as currently envisioned, the anticipated approach to calculating future Medicare DSH payments could be very inaccurate ­– and heavily weighted against the nation’s private, non-profit urban safety-net hospitals, potentially detracting from their continued ability to serve their communities.

For these reasons, NAUH has asked Congress to direct the administration to delay implementation of a new approach to Medicare DSH until the administration takes actions that improve hospitals’ uncompensated care reporting and then audits reported data to ensure uniform, accurate reporting nation-wide.

Read the complete NAUH position paper “Implementation of the New Medicare DSH Policy Under the Affordable Care Act” here, on the NAUH web site.NAUH Logo

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