WASHINGTON, D.C.—Nine members of Tennessee’s congressional delegation sent a letter this month to Marilyn Tavenner, administrator for the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, requesting an extension of TennCare’s waiver approval from earlier this year.
Because Tennessee does not receive funding through the Medicaid disproportionate share hospital, or DSH, program that every other state participates in, the lawmakers are requesting continuing funds to support Tennessee hospitals that help tens of thousands of low-income patients receive medical coverage they otherwise wouldn’t be able to afford. Just last year, these hospitals provided $950 million in charity care and $720 million in unreimbursed medical services to low-income Tennesseans.
Unlike hospitals in every other state, Tennessee hospitals are unable to offset these expenses with the help of the Medicaid DSH program. [Read more…]