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MACPAC Recommends 5-Year CHIP Extension, Discusses Medicaid DSH

The Medicaid and CHIP Payment and Access Commission (MACPAC) recommended to extend federal funding to the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) for five additional years. Current federal funding for the program is set to expire on Sept. 30, 2017.

MACPAC’s recommendation is part of a larger package of commission suggestions meant to improve coverage for children in low- and moderate-income families. Commissioners finalized the recommendations during a December public meeting.

Also during the meeting, MACPAC commissioners discussed options to better target Medicaid disproportionate share hospital (DSH) payments. The discussion comes ahead of the commission’s statutorily required second annual report on Medicaid DSH, which will be included in MACPAC’s March report to Congress.

In addition, MACPAC staff presented findings from a study with the Urban Institute profiling seven DSH payment-eligible  hospitals. The study complements the commission’s quantitative analyses with more information on the role of DSH funding for different types of hospitals, the relationship of DSH payments with other sources of hospital funding, and the role of DSH hospitals in their markets and communities. Examples from the hospital profiles will be included in the March report and the full hospital profiles will be published online.

Given the uncertainty of a changing administration, the commissioners discussed potentially recommending a delay in the Affordable Care Act-mandated DSH payment reductions, which currently are set to begin Oct. 1, 2017. America’s Essential Hospitals, in public comments, thanked the commission for their continued work on this issue, reiterated that Medicaid DSH is a vital funding stream for essential hospitals, and expressed support for any recommendations or efforts to delay the DSH payment reductions.

Contact Director of Policy Erin O’Malley at or 202.585.0127 with questions.


About the Author

Zina Gontscharow is a former senior policy analyst for America's Essential Hospitals.

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