MILWAUKEE, WI – This week, bipartisan legislation to delay impending cuts to the Medicaid Disproportionate Share Hospital (DSH) program – essential to providing support for hospitals that serve vulnerable populations – was approved in the House Energy and Commerce Committee. H.R. 2328, co-authored by Rep. O’Halleran (D-AZ) and Rep. Stefanik (R-NY), delays more than $7 billion in cuts to DSH program, as well as reduces the cut to DSH in 2022 by $4 billion. The bill also secures and extends funding for the Community Health Center Fund, which provides support to Federally Qualified Health Centers (FQHCs).
The Medicaid DSH program provides crucial support to Wisconsin hospitals that serve a high number of Medicaid beneficiaries and uninsured patients, whereas FQHCs are community clinics that serve patients with no other options, regardless of their ability to pay. Proposed reductions to DSH program funding would amount to $12 million in cuts to Wisconsin hospitals, and a failure to fund FQHCs would hurt community health centers across the state.
The legislation passed committee by a voice vote. The next step for H.R. 2328 is a floor vote of the entire House of Representatives.
Last week, health care advocacy groups from across the state sent a letter to the Wisconsin congressional delegation urging them to ensure continued funding for the DSH program. That followed a bipartisan letter sent to Congressional leadership from 302 members of the House of Representatives – including two of Wisconsin’s representatives – calling for a delay in cuts to the DSH program.
You can find more information on the DSH program in Wisconsin here.