American Hospital Association and five other national associations representing hospitals urge US Supreme Court to review a case challenging how the HHS applies Congress’ formula for calculating Disproportionate Share Hospital payment

Sample article from our Government & Public Policy

February 2, 2024 (press release) –

The AHA, joined by five other national associations representing hospitals, Feb. 2 urged the U.S. Supreme Court to review a case challenging how the Department of Health and Human Services applies Congress’ formula for calculating Disproportionate Share Hospital payments. In a friend-of-the-court brief, the organizations said HHS has adopted the view that a patient is entitled to Supplemental Security Income benefits only if the patient actually received cash SSI payments during a hospital stay, an interpretation that is inconsistent with the Supreme Court’s reasoning in Becerra v. Empire Health Foundation and continues the agency’s “long history of undermining the DSH program.”

“The correct interpretation of the DSH formula is vitally important to America’s hospitals,” the brief adds. “Although HHS has refused to share the data that would allow hospitals to accurately count the SSI-eligible patients whom the agency’s approach excludes, the available estimates suggest that hospitals will lose more than a billion dollars each year in DSH funds. What’s more, a hospital’s eligibility for DSH payments affects its entitlement to other federal benefits designed to help hospitals ‘stretch scarce Federal resources,’ including the 340B Drug Discount Program. … HHS’s error thus has wide-reaching implications for hospitals, patients, and the American healthcare system."

The Association of American Medical Colleges, America’s Essential Hospitals, Catholic Health Association, Federation of American Hospitals, and National Rural Health Association joined AHA in the brief.

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