Once again, new research is pointing to the critical need to reform the 340B program. The latest data, from Berkeley Research Group (BRG), uncovered startling differences in Medicare Part B hospital outpatient reimbursements in 340B hospitals verses non-340B hospitals. Released by the Alliance for Integrity and Reform of 340B (PhRMA is a coalition member), the research found that 340B hospitals account for 61 percent of Part B drug reimbursements to hospitals but slightly less than half of total Medicare hospital outpatient revenue, and 340B hospitals are driving most of the overall growth in Part B reimbursement. Thoughtful reform is needed to address the distortions being created by the 340B program.
The 340B program was created to help vulnerable or uninsured patients access needed medicines, but this new data is one more example of potential misuse of the program. The current unsustainable growth of the 340B program has been driven by expanded hospital eligibility criteria, hospital acquisition of physician practices, multiple contract pharmacy arrangements and more.
For more on 340B, check out our latest 340B Spotlight posts.
Allyson Funk Ally is a former senior director of public affairs at PhRMA focused on advocacy issues for the biopharmaceutical industry. Her expertise includes Medicare, Medicaid, 340B, health reform and more. Prior to PhRMA, her experience included leading health communications for a large membership organization, supporting public affairs clients and working for the governor of Louisiana.