by Nick Thompson
Missouri hospitals could soon lose funds from budget cuts to Disproportionate Share Hospital Adjustment Payments as part of the federal health care law.
The payments are part of Medicaid funding, and go to hospitals that serve large proportions of uninsured and under-insured patients. The payments help hospitals cover the cost of caring for these patients.
Missouri was the seventh largest recipient of DSH funding in the nation in 2011. The DSH cuts were intended to complement Medicaid expansion in the federal health care overhaul. Missouri lawmakers have not decided whether or not they will expand Medicaid to cover people with higher incomes than allowed under the current program.
Dave Dillon, a spokesman for the Missouri Hospital Association says the federal law was designed to curtail the effect of the cuts with the Medicaid expansion. He said state health decisions will have to consider this effect.