The Disproportionate Share Hospital program isn’t widely known among the public. But among hospital leaders, it’s a crucial factor in the financial health of their facilities.
The DSH program helps hospitals cover the costs of care not paid for by insurance. Efforts to maintain funding are stalled in Congress, and if the issue is not taken up soon, billions of dollars in cuts to the program will go into effect next month, says Bernie Tokarz, a trustee of the Fulton-DeKalb Hospital Authority, which oversees Atlanta’s Grady Memorial Hospital.
In a new GHN Commentary, Tokarz says that “these cuts are simply unsustainable for safety-net hospitals and would force them to cut services, raise rates, or both, resulting in higher premiums, job losses, and in some cases, hospital closures.”