FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Statement attributable to:
Bruce Siegel, MD, MPH
President and CEO
America’s Essential Hospitals
WASHINGTON — We thank the Senate for acting today to forestall a devastating cut to vital support for the nation’s more than 300 essential hospitals and the vulnerable people and communities they serve.
The Senate’s bipartisan approval of a continuing resolution that would temporarily stop a $4 billion cut to disproportionate share hospital (DSH) payments, like the earlier bipartisan House vote, underscores the threat this cut poses to communities across the country. We urge the president to sign this bill quickly.
We also call on the Senate to support a permanent repeal of the DSH cuts. The trajectory of the cuts — $44 billion over six years — simply would be unsustainable for essential hospitals, which already operate with no or narrow margins and high levels of uncompensated care. The House Energy and Commerce Committee’s bipartisan plan to repeal the cuts in fiscal years 2020 and 2021 and reduce by half the scheduled $8 billion cut in fiscal year 2022 is a welcome first step and one the Senate must consider.
America’s Essential Hospitals looks forward to working with Congress on long-term, sustainable ways to ensure vulnerable people and underserved communities have access to hospital services.
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About America’s Essential Hospitals
America’s Essential Hospitals is the leading champion for hospitals and health systems dedicated to high-quality care for all, including the most vulnerable. We support our more than 300 members with advocacy, policy development, research, and education. Communities depend on essential hospitals to provide specialized, lifesaving services; train the health care workforce; advance public health and health equity; and coordinate care. Essential hospitals innovate and adapt to lead the way to more effective and efficient care. Learn more at essentialhospitals.org.