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On the Hill: Bipartisan DSH Letter, Medicaid Extenders

Reps. Eliot Engel (D-NY) and Pete Olson (R-TX) have gained 111 bipartisan signatures on a letter to colleagues calling for a two-year delay of Medicaid disproportionate share hospital (DSH) payment cuts. The cuts are scheduled for fiscal years 2020 and 2021.

America’s Essential Hospitals strongly supports the letter and calls on member hospitals to urge their House representatives to sign the letter.

Reps. Engel and Olson, members of the House Committee on Energy and Commerce, will collect signatures through May 3.

Congress remains on break this week and will return to legislative business on April 29. Both chambers then will be in session until the Memorial Day recess.

President Signs Medicaid Extenders Bill

Meanwhile, the president last week signed the Medicaid Services Investment and Accountability Act of 2019 (H.R. 1839), which extends funding for several Medicaid programs.

The bill includes a provision identical to the Advancing Care for Exceptional (ACE) Kids Act, which America’s Essential Hospitals supports. The provision will offer states the option of establishing Medicaid health homes to coordinate care for children with complex medical conditions.

The legislation also will:

  • provide $20 million in additional funding for the “Money Follows the Person” demonstration program, which helps Medicaid beneficiaries with disabilities and chronic conditions transition from institutionalized to community-based care settings;
  • maintain until Sept. 30 the spousal income disregard when determining Medicaid eligibility for recipients of home- and community-based services; and
  • extend funding for the certified community behavioral health clinic demonstration program under Medicaid, which expands access to community-based addiction and behavioral health services.

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About the Author

Erin Delaney is the legislative affairs associate at America's Essential Hospitals.

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