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Medicaid: Ongoing Federal Oversight of Payments to Offset Uncompensated Hospital Care Costs Is Warranted
Katherine M. Iritani (au)
In addition to standard Medicaid payments, hospitals receive supplemental payments for uncompensated costs of care provided to uninsured and Medicaid patients. These supplemental payments are referred to as disproportionate share hospital (DSH) payments. Hospitals may also receive non-DSH supplemental payments. In FY 2006, DSH payments totaled about $17 billion and non-DSH supplemental payments exceeded $6 billion. Hospitals' DSH payments are limited to their uncompensated care costs, that is, their costs for covered care less Medicaid and other payments. Concerns have been raised about the accuracy of DSH payment limits, particularly as states may estimate limits using data that are not audited or up to date. This report examined (1) how state DSH payments in 2006 compared to DSH payment limits, and (2) certain aspects of states' calculations of 2006 DSH payment limits. In selected states, the report analyzed state Medicaid payment data and interviewed officials from the states and from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS), the federal agency that oversees Medicaid. Includes recommendations. Figures.
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