This week, Senator Marco Rubio introduced the “State Accountability, Flexibility, and Equity for Hospitals Act,” which aims to “overhaul the Medicaid Disproportionate Share Hospital program to create equity for all states by updating a metric used to determine how much each state is allocated, which has not been reformed since the early 1990s.”At a time when Medicare and Medicaid are prominent in the political discussion, Rubio’s office noted that “The SAFE Hospitals Act would resolve a longstanding disparity in Medicaid DSH allocations across the nation, including Florida, and prioritize funding for hospitals that provide the most care to Medicaid and low-income patients. Over the course of 10-15 years, Florida hospitals could gain up to $600 million in annual DSH funding as a result of Rubio’s bill.”
The reason why he introduced the bill, he explained by saying that “For far too long, Florida has not received its fair share of funding for hospitals that serve the most vulnerable patients. The Medicaid DSH program must be modernized, rather than relying on an outdated system that predominantly reflects state spending in 1992. My new bill would fix this disparity and update the system to create equity within the DSH program. I’m proud to introduce this proposal to reform Medicaid DSH, and it is my hope that this bill will become a framework for future reform.”
In addition, Senator Rubio also gained support from both the Florida Hospital Association and the Safety Net Hospitality Alliance of Florida.
Bruce Rueben, the President of the Florida Hospital Association, commended the Florida Senator, saying that Rubio’s “leadership in the effort to bring equity and fairness to the Federal Medicaid Disproportionate Share program. The SAFE Hospitals Act provides a more rational allocation of DSH funds and brings the DSH program closer to its original purpose. It prioritizes DSH payments for those hospitals that serve higher numbers of low income and uninsured patients.”