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Supreme Court backs HHS approach to Medicare payments for hospitals serving low-income patients

<i>Mandel Ngan/AFP/Getty Images</i><br/>On June 24
AFP via Getty Images
Mandel Ngan/AFP/Getty Images
On June 24

By Tierney Sneed and Ariane de Vogue, CNN

The Supreme Court on Friday upheld the approach taken by the Department of Health and Human Services in calculating certain Medicare payments for hospitals that serve a large number of low-income patients.

The legal challenge targeted HHS’ interpretation of the formula used to calculate Medicare’s disproportionate share hospital adjustments, known as DSH payments.

The high court said that the agency did not misinterpret the law with a policy it rolled out in the mid-2000s that dictated the payments hospitals received for treating a disproportionate share of low-income patients.

“Today, we approve HHS’s understanding of the Medicare fraction,” Justice Elena Kagan wrote for the 5-4 majority, adding that “HHS’s regulation correctly construes the statutory language at issue.”

This story is breaking and will be updated.

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