Stimulus Bill Provides Hospitals Extra $268 Million

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) announced March 20 that states can access an additional $268 million in stimulus funds to help hospitals cover the costs associated with treating a large share of under-privileged people.

“Millions of people rely on the care provided by their community hospitals,” said Acting HHS Secretary Charles E. Johnson in the news release. “Through the help provided by the Recovery Act, we can make sure they continue to get the care they need in those hospitals.”

Hospitals serving a large number of low-income or uninsured people are known as Disproportionate Share Hospitals (DSHs). States receive an annual allotment in federal monies calculated by law to compensate DSHs for treating individuals who are unable to pay for health care. States already had an allotment of $11.06 billion this year; the additional $268 million in stimulus funds increases the total allotment to $11.33 billion.

States must show they’ve used all their existing 2009 DSH allotments before they can receive additional funds; and they must request the funds from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) as part of their quarterly Medicaid budget request.

A complete list of the revised DSH allotments made available through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) is available on the HHS.gov/Recovery Web site.

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5 Responses to “Stimulus Bill Provides Hospitals Extra $268 Million”

  1. Martha Martin says:

    These uninsured people that are wiping out the hospitals may well be illegal aliens.

  2. Pawan Arya, MBA, CPC, CPC-H says:

    A large population of uninsured may be illegal aliens however, there is a large % of legal aliens as well as citizens who cannot afford the cost of health insurance. Average cost of insuring a single person for average insurance is $500-$600. If the employer contributed 50%, the cost is still too high for an average worker making $10-$20 per month. Add to that the cost of Copay deductible with pharmacy, and copay for drugs.

    For hospitals a lot of problem also is based in their A/R department. Poor coding and follow up procedures with insurance also results in a lot of revenue bleeding.

    I know this from personal experience that anything not paid by insurance is billed to insurance even though the denial may be because of billing error or to provide information requested by Insurance Carriers.

  3. Jo Burt, CPC says:

    What about the physicians that accept these patients in the hospital? I believe the physicians should be compensated as well as the hospital for the care and treatment that is recieved. Most of these patients are never seen at the office, so reimbursement for services are never recovered and the physician takes the hit. I would like to see the government set up an allotment fund for physicians as well.

  4. Debra Duke says:

    Everyone loses if no one is compensated, patients, doctors and hospitals. And it makes me question humanity when people are upset by illegal aliens using our health care resources. Health care is a need, not a want, they’re not going to Nordstrom’s and buying a new suit. Let’s rally around and get a universal plan in place so everyone can win.

  5. Marilyn says:

    Maybe we can convince the illegal aliens that are sapping our healthcare system to go to Canada who already has universal health care. Do you think they could get across the Canadian border? If they did, do you wonder whether Canada would cover them? I do. I do agree that physicians who provide in-hospital care are losers in the event of indigent patients…however, now that hospitals are hiring “hospitalist” physicians, that should be less of a problem. The hospitalists can manage the care of these patients while they are in the hospital and with the additional funds maybe a small percentage of them can be covered by the additional .27 billion dollars. It is also true that hospitals who have large financial deficits probably have slipshod coding and billing departments. Lots of fixes are needed. That does not necessarily equate to universal health care.

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