TN lawmakers seek extension of hospital funds for low-income pat - WRCBtv.com | Chattanooga News, Weather & Sports

TN lawmakers seek extension of hospital funds for low-income patients

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CHATTANOOGA, TN (AP) - Members of Tennessee's congressional delegation are requesting an extension of federal funds to help hospitals care for tens of thousands of low-income patients.

A Chattanooga newspaper reports that all states participate in the funding program, known as the "disproportionate share hospital" fund. But because of the wording of a 1994 waiver that created the TennCare program, Tennessee is now the only state that requires a year-by-year renewal of a program that hospitals say is crucial to their bottom line.

Nine Tennessee lawmakers are appealing to federal officials for the funding extension.

They say the extension is needed "to prevent any lapse in funding" that would threaten hospitals while they seek "a permanent solution in the next Congress." Their request came in a recent letter to Marilyn Tavenner, administrator for the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services.

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