Storm Brewing On Capitol Hill Over Drug Discount Program
Pharma and hospitals are going head-to-head over cuts to the 340B drug program, which requires pharmaceutical companies to give steep discounts to hospitals and clinics that serve high volumes of low-income patients.
House Lawmakers To Discuss 340B Legislation This Week As Tensions Build
Big Pharma and hospitals are coming head-to-head over the 340B drug reimbursement program with substantial changes at stake. Capitol Hill lawmakers who want to enact a moratorium on CMS' imminent Medicare payment cuts to 340B hospitals face mounting pressure to include reporting and transparency measures; the pressure comes from inside their ranks and from the drug industry. According to a document obtained by Modern Healthcare, the measures being floated on Capitol Hill drastically alter reporting requirements for 340B hospitals. (Luthi, 12/19)
340B Guidance From CMS Further Inflames Worries Over Reimbursement Cuts
Guidance meant to provide more clarity on forthcoming changes to the 340B program has only added anxiety and uncertainty for hospital executives. Although legislators are considering trying to stop the changes, as the rules stand now payment for drugs in the program are soon going to drop sharply. Beginning Jan. 1, the CMS will pay for drugs acquired through the 340B program at the average sales price minus 22.5% of that price, which is a significant change from the current rate of the average sales price plus 6%. The change would reduce payments through the program by $1.6 billion, the agency estimated. (Dickson, 12/19)