As first reported by 340B Health, there is current activity in Congress to introduce legislation unfavorable to the 340B program. At a time when the nation’s healthcare system is struggling with rising costs and shrinking reimbursement, a potential loss of 340B funding support would be very detrimental to the provision of care to some of the country’s most needy patient populations.
The initiatives are being led by Rep. Chris Collins (R-N.Y.) on the house side and Sen. Bill Cassidy (R-La.) in the senate. Rep. Collins reportedly is drafting legislation specifically about 340B that addresses issues such as including contract pharmacy, duplicate discounts, hospital eligibility criteria (including outpatient department eligibility), reporting requirements, and more support for HRSA. Sen. Cassidy is working on a bill to address high drug prices that will include 340B elements. Both lawmakers reportedly said the 340B patient definition should be changed.
340B members would be well advised to closely monitor these attempts to curtail the program and to proactively contact your representatives and senators to voice opposition to these bills and to reinforce the important role that 340B plays in the ability of covered entities to stretch scarce resources and extend care to the country’s most vulnerable patient populations.