Noteworthy News

House Members to CMS: Don’t Cut 340B Payments

More than half of the members of the House of Representatives have written to CMS administrator Seema Verma asking her to withdraw a controversial proposal that would greatly reduce Medicare reimbursement for prescription drugs for urban safety-net hospitals and other safety-net providers that serve large numbers of low-income patients..

At issue are proposed changes in the federal section 340B prescription drug discount program – changes that would drastically reduce payments to participating hospitals for the prescription drugs they provide to low-income outpatients.  Savings from the program help underwrite services and outreach for low-income patients.

The letter to CMS administrator Verma expresses concern that

…this misguided policy will directly limit the ability of hospitals to offer necessary services to vulnerable patients and their communities, especially low-income individuals and rural communities.

The letter goes on to point out that the proposed change in 340B program policy does not address the high cost of prescription drugs and “…would not benefit many Medicare beneficiaries, including dually eligible Medicare beneficiaries.”

A majority of the members of the House – 228 of them – signed the letter.  NAUH recently sent a message to all House members asking them to sign.  All private, non-profit urban safety-net hospitals participate in the 340B program.

Go here to see the congressional letter to Administrator Verma and go here to see NAUH’s letter to House members asking them to sign the letter.

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