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June 14, 2024

United States Supreme Court Takes Up “DSH” Payments, Again

On June 10, 2024, the U.S. Supreme Court decided to once again take up the issue of when the government must pay higher rates to hospitals that treat a disproportionate share of low income payments, known as “DSH” payments, under 42 U.S.C. § 1395ww(d)(5)(F)(vi)(I). See Advocate Christ Medical v. Becerra, Case No. 23-715.  This is the second case before the Court on the topic.  

Under Social Security Act Section 1395ww(d)(5)F(vi)(l), a hospital qualifies for higher payments in part based on the number of days that a hospital provides inpatient care to senior (or disabled) low income patients, measured as those who "were entitled to benefits under part A of [Medicare] and were entitled to supplementary security income [SSI] benefits." In Becerra v. Empire Health Foundation, the Court analyzed what was meant by patients “entitled to benefits under Part A.” Becerra v. Empire Health Foundation, 597 U.S. 424, 445 (2022).  In Advocate Christ Medical, the Court will now review the second criteria: how to calculate when a patient is “entitled to supplemental security income benefits.” 

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