23 Mar Health Affairs:The 340B Drug Discount Program Is Fulfilling Its Original Purpose
“The debate over the future of the 340B drug pricing program has reached a critical new phase. Several members of Congress introduced legislation that would make dramatic changes in the 26-year-old statute, Congress is holding hearings on the program and the Trump administration has offered new proposals in its fiscal 2019 budget.
Some have questioned whether 340B hospitals are using their program savings to support care for low-income patients; proponents argue the program bolsters care for vulnerable communities. As policymakers consider legislative proposals and a key committee report that recommend a series of legislative and regulatory changes to the 340B program, it is also important for them to carefully evaluate new data that sheds light on the care 340B disproportionate share hospitals (DSHs) provide to low-income populations. New research shows that the 340B eligibility criteria target hospitals that provide high levels of care to low-income patients. 340B DSHs treat significantly more low-income patients than non-340B hospitals, provide a disproportionate amount of the nation’s uncompensated and unreimbursed care, and are more likely to provide specialized services that are critical to low-income patients but which are often underpaid.”
Read More: https://www.healthaffairs.org/do/10.1377/hblog20180321.524566/full/