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Advocacy Efforts Underway as DSH Cuts Approach

America’s Essential Hospitals continues to lead advocacy efforts in Washington to delay cuts to Medicaid disproportionate share hospital (DSH) payments, following the success of three previous bipartisan legislative delays.

Substantial cuts to Medicaid DSH payments are set to begin on Oct. 1, the beginning of the 2018 fiscal year. These cuts, originally included in the Affordable Care Act (ACA), were scheduled to being in 2014 but have been delayed until FY 2018 due to successful advocacy by essential hospitals.

In addition to ongoing meetings with key congressional staff, the association is spearheading these other advocacy efforts to delay Medicaid DSH cuts:

  • America’s Essential Hospitals has asked CEOs from essential hospitals across the country to sign a letter to Congress underscoring the urgency of another Medicaid DSH cut delay. We ask you to ensure that your hospital’s CEO has signed the letter before it goes to Capitol Hill;
  • the association has partnered with several other national organizations committed to protecting safety-net funding expiring on Sept. 30, including funding for community health centers, the Children’s Health Insurance Program, the National Health Service Corps and others. The coalition plans to send a letter to congressional leadership asking for an extension of safety-net funding, including a lengthy delay of Medicaid DSH cuts;
  • the association has planned a roundtable on Capitol Hill for critical health care staff to discuss the need for an additional delay of looming Medicaid DSH cuts; and
  • the association has prepared an updated paper on the history and vital need for Medicaid DSH funding. We strongly urge you to send this information to your congressional delegation with a direct request to delay these potentially devastating cuts.

Without further delay of Medicaid DSH cuts, essential hospitals stand to lose $2 billion in 2018 alone — escalating to $8 billion by 2024. Washington legislators will be on a tight timeline when they return from the Labor Day holiday; strong and immediate input from essential hospitals is vital to successfully secure another delay.

Contact Director of Legislative Affairs Shawn Gremminger at or 202.585.0112 with questions.


About the Author

Jocelyn Wiles was a former manager of legislative affairs at America's Essential Hospitals.

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