We estimate Medicare FY 1998 actual DSH payments at $4.83 billion. If the FY2003 DSH payment rules had been in effect and all other FY1998 payment parameters remained unchanged, payments would have been $358 million higher, or $5.18 billion. Consistent with the changes in the formula, most payment increases occurred among rural hospitals and small urban hospitals. Although rural hospitals provided 19% of total Medicare inpatient days, they received only 3.1% of the Medicare DSH payments. Under BIPA, the rural share of DSH payments will more than double to 7.2%.