Safety Net Hospitals Face $53.3B in Uncompensated Care Costs by 2019

John Commins, for HealthLeaders Media , October 26, 2012

"The Supreme Court decision now says Medicaid expansion is voluntary, but those cuts are hardwired into the law and we don't necessarily see a rise in the coverage on the other side to make a balance."

NAPH represents about 200 hospitals and health systems that are often the primary source of healthcare to Medicaid and uninsured patients. Typically in the communities that these hospitals serve 15% of the population is uninsured and nearly one-third of the population relies on government-sponsored healthcare coverage.  

The CBO estimates the court's decision will result in six million to 10 million more uninsured people than estimated when Congress passed the PPACA in March 2010, bringing the total number of uninsured individuals to 29 million by FY 2019, NAPH said in a new report.

"This unexpected new level of cost to hospitals and health systems dramatically amplifies the impact of the Medicaid DSH cuts, which will total $14.1 billion over the same period.

The combined effect will jeopardize access to important healthcare services for vulnerable people and shift additional and burdensome uncompensated care costs onto state and local governments, providers, and taxpayers," NAPH said.

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