Eighteen Washington state hospitals failed to persuade a federal judge that Medicare owes them about $31 million in disproportionate-share hospital funds.
Wash. hospitals lose lawsuit over DSH funds
Echoing similar cases in Ohio and Arizona with the same outcome, the hospitals sued HHS over its interpretation of a provision in the Social Security Act that directs extra Medicare funding to hospitals that bear the greatest burden providing care for the poor. The formula uses the number of low-income patients a hospital served, defined as patients who were eligible for a state Medicaid program. The Washington hospitals argued that they should be able to count low-income patients who are eligible for two related state programs: one that covered uninsured patients with emergency medical needs and another covering uninsured residents who are unemployable.
U.S. District Judge Richard Jones in Seattle granted summary judgment to the government, concluding that it's insufficient that the state paid for the programs in part with Medicaid dollars because the covered patients “are not actually directly eligible for federal funds under Medicaid.”
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