Ask the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services to withdraw its proposed regulation to reduce Medicare payments for prescription drugs covered by the section 340B prescription drug discount program.

That’s the message in a bipartisan letter being circulated among members of Congress, to be sent to CMS administrator Seema Verma, and last week the National Association of Urban Hospitals wrote to every member of the House of Representatives asking them to sign that letter before it is sent to CMS.

The 340B program provides discounts on prescription drugs to safety-net hospitals and other selected safety-net providers that serve especially large numbers of low-income patients.  The purpose of the program is to help put additional resources in the hands of the providers that care for the most low-income patients.  Over the years the program has enabled such providers to deliver additional services to such patients and undertake additional outreach into low-income communities as well.

Most private safety-net hospitals participate in the 340B program.

The discounts come from pharmaceutical companies, not the federal government, at no cost to taxpayers.  CMS proposes greatly reducing the discounts and sharing the program’s savings with providers that care for fewer low-income patients.

Go here to see NAUH’s message to Congress.