Medicare disproportionate share (Medicare DSH) hospitals that qualify for the federal 340B prescription drug discount program have lower Medicare Part B drug costs than other Medicare providers.

Prescription Medication Spilling From an Open Medicine BottleSo concludes a new study performed for 340B Health, an association that represents more 1100 public and non-profit hospitals and health systems that participate in the 340B drug pricing program.

According to the organization 340B Health,

Medicare pays disproportionate share hospitals in the 340B drug discount program on average 13 percent less for separately payable drugs reimbursed through Medicare Part B. This is in comparison to what it pays other hospitals and physician practices in the Part B market. The study also shows that 340B DSH hospitals are treating more vulnerable patients than other providers in terms of race, age, disability, and dual eligibility.

The study also found that 340B-eligible hospitals are

  • Nearly four times as likely as non-340B providers to treat patients with end-stage renal disease
  • More than twice as likely to treat patients dually eligible for Medicare and Medicaid
  • More than twice as likely to treat patients who are disabled
  • More than twice as likely to treat Black, Hispanic, and North American Native patients

Most of the country’s private safety-net hospitals are Medicare DSH hospitals and many participate in the 340B prescription drug pricing program as well.

For a closer look at the study and its findings, go here to see a 340B Health news release on the study and go here to see the study Analysis of Separately Billable Part B Drug Use Among 340B DSH Hospitals and Non-340B Providers.