Hospital Group Seeking Support for Care of Undocumented Persons
Last week, the American Hospital Association requested that the Obama administration move forward with legislation to better support hospitals that treat undocumented residents, Modern Healthcare reports.
There are more than 8.7 million undocumented residents in the U.S., many of whom are uninsured, according to the latest Census Bureau estimates. Under federal law, hospitals must accept, treat and stabilize any individual needing emergency care in order to receive Medicare reimbursement. To help support care for undocumented residents, hospitals had received $250 million in federal funds under the 2003 Medicare Prescription Drug, Improvement and Modernization Act.
However, those funds expired in 2008, so any federal support for providing the care now is "virtually nonexistent," AHA President and CEO Richard Umbdenstock wrote in a letter to Obama.
Umbdenstock added that "hospitals shoulder a disproportionate burden" in providing emergency services to undocumented residents and warned that such costs have forced some facilities to reduce services or limit beds.
Umbdenstock suggested that the White House consider provisions in its immigration reform proposal or craft other domestic legislation (Zigmond, Modern Healthcare, 6/8).This is part of the California Healthline Daily Edition, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.