12 Oct AHA News: Report misses mark on 340B program
“The latest report from AIR340B, a group financed and backed by the pharmaceutical industry, continues to misrepresent a program with a successful 25-year history of helping hospitals stretch scarce financial resources to expand and improve access to lifesaving prescription drugs and comprehensive health services for the many patients served by participating hospitals. The report attempts to mislead the debate by comparing changes in the “charity care” provided by a small sample size of 160 disproportionate share hospitals (out of 1,269 DSH 340B hospitals) that participate in the 340B Drug Pricing Program.
First, at its core the purpose of the 340B program is to allow hospitals to expand access to and the type of services available in their communities. Charity care – free or discounted care – is only part of the story of how savings from this program underwrite participating hospitals’ total community benefit. It does not account for the many other programs and services that hospitals provide to meet the needs of their community and the amounts required to close the gap between the actual cost of care and Medicare and Medicaid payments to care for elderly, disabled and poor Americans.”