The U.S. House of Representatives passed legislation to fund the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) for another five years while delaying Medicaid Disproportionate Share Hospital (DSH) payment cuts.
CHIP funding expired at the end of September, according to a press release from the Hospital and Healthsystem Association of Pennsylvania. Pennsylvania is on track to run out of CHIP resources in February unless Congress acts before that time.
The House legislation reflects a bipartisan deal agreed upon in the Senate. Under the terms of the deal, the current federal matching rate offered to states would stay the same for two more years, then gradually decrease beginning in fiscal 2020.
The bill also extends funds for community health centers for two years while delaying Medicaid DSH cuts for two years. If Congress does not act, DSH support that helps Medicaid and uninsured patients may be cut by $5 billion over the next two years. DSH payments offer much-needed support to hospitals offering community services to those in need. Every state receives such funds to help offset uncompensated care expenses.
The Senate so far has not indicated whether it will address this legislation, which could be rolled into a year-end package next month, according to the press release.