Appeals Court Delivers Latest Blow To Hospitals By Rejecting Challenge To 340B Changes
The program helps hospitals cover charity costs related to prescriptions drugs. Last July, the Trump administration proposed slashing its higher reimbursement for the drugs by about 27 percent. A judge ruled that the hospitals had challenged the changes prematurely as none of them had taken effect yet, and the court of appeals on Tuesday affirmed the decision.
Appeals Court Rejects Hospital Industry's Challenge On 340B Changes
An appeals court on Tuesday rejected an attempt by hospitals to challenge the Trump administration’s changes to the controversial federal drug discount program known as 340B, sticking them with a $1.6 billion cut in federal payments. The decision is the latest in a series of blows to hospitals trying to preserve the program, which increasingly pits them against the drug makers who must offer steep discounts on medicines under its rules. Participating hospitals get higher reimbursement for the drugs from the federal government, and use the difference to cover charity care and other costs. (Mershon, 7/17)
Appeals Court Rejects Hospitals' Challenge To 340B Cuts
"When the plaintiffs filed this lawsuit, neither the hospital plaintiffs, nor any members of the hospital-association plaintiffs, had challenged the new reimbursement regulation in the context of a specific administrative claim for payment," Judge Gregory Katsas wrote. "Nor could they have done so, for the new regulation had not yet even become effective." The D.C. Circuit also rejected the hospitals' argument that they had cured the presentment problem by filing payment demands while they waited for the appeal decision, and ultimately declined to rule on the merits—a major disappointment for the hospitals. (Luthi, 7/17)
Hospital Group Says It Will Refile Suit Over Trump Cuts To Drug Program
The American Hospital Association said it would refile a lawsuit against the Trump administration's cuts to a discount drug program after losing its appeal Tuesday. "We will continue our fight to reverse these unwarranted cuts and protect access for patients, and we expect to refile promptly in district court," the AHA said. Three judges from the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit ruled Tuesday that AHA's suit against the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) was premature. (Hellmann, 7/17)