(Anchorage, AK) – Last week, 302 members of the House of Representatives – including Rep. Don Young – sent a bipartisan letter to Congressional leaders calling for a delay in cuts to the Medicaid Disproportionate Share Hospital (DSH) program.
The Medicaid DSH program provides vital support to Alaska hospitals that serve a disproportionate number of Medicaid beneficiaries and uninsured patients. The DSH program is essential to ensuring that such hospitals can continue to serve low-income patients who don’t have private insurance.
“In treating those who have nowhere else to turn, these hospitals incur uncompensated costs…Medicaid DSH payments allow them to continue serving our constituents and communities,” the letter reads.
According to the Medicaid and CHIP Payment and Access Commission (MACPAC), if the cuts are implemented, Alaska hospitals could lose $3.6 million the first year and double that number the following year. Industry experts warn that the proposed cuts to the program are unsustainable for struggling safety net hospitals, especially in rural areas, and could force some of them to reduce services or even close their doors.
The full letter can be read here.