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As the 116th Congress gets underway, health care is top of mind not only for lawmakers, but also for Americans everywhere. According to a recent Gallup poll, 6 in 10 Americans say they are concerned about the increasing cost of their personal health care.

One driver of consumer angst is the existence of bad hospital actors in the American health care system. A study published in Health Affairs this month found hospitals’ inpatient care fees increased by 42 percent between 2007 and 2014. To make matters worse, there have been multiple cases of hospitals overcharging patients by as much as 1,000 percent, and some hospitals are even charging uninsured patients more than 10 times the actual cost of care. Many hospitals are also not doing enough to protect patients from surprise billing for services that occur in their facilities. …


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Over the past year, there has been a growing body of evidence that the 340B program doesn’t always best serve vulnerable or uninsured patient populations. Evidence has also raised questions about how some hospitals use the 340B program.

With 2019 approaching, we invite you to get caught up with key thought leaders, including government watchdogs, members of Congress, and patient advocates from across the nation who have concerns about whether vulnerable or uninsured patients benefit from 340B and the corrosive impact the program has had on the health care market.

“Accordingly, in assessing eligibility, the program favors hospitals that disproportionately serve low-income patients, but it does not require or provide incentives for hospitals to repurpose financial gains to enhance care for underserved patients. Rather, the discounts — which range from 20% to 50% — only strengthen the incentives for hospitals to supply drugs to patients who have generous insurance coverage. The extent to which hospitals support the mission of the program is subject to minimal oversight. Thus, the program may not elicit the intended responses from hospitals — such as providing more care to low-income communities, investing in safety-net providers, or reducing health disparities — and may even have unintended consequences.” …


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The 340B drug discount program — a vital safety-net program created to help millions of vulnerable or uninsured patients receive care — is no longer benefiting many of the patients it was meant to serve. That’s according to mounting findings from congressional investigations, independent economists, and government watchdogs. Two new studies released by the Government Accountability Office (GAO) add to these growing concerns, looking specifically at contract pharmacies and hospitals in the 340B program. GAO’s latest conclusions provide further evidence more must be done to fix the 340B program and bring it back to the original intent of helping patients.

Contract Pharmacies — Not Always Passing 340B Discount on to…

About

AIR 340B

The Alliance for Integrity and Reform of 340B. Put Patients First: Preserve Access, Protect the Program and Provide Greater Oversight