The National Association of Urban Hospitals has urged the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services to withdraw its proposal to significantly reduce Medicare payments for prescription drugs to hospitals that qualify for the federal section 340B prescription drug discount program.

The plan, part of Medicare’s proposed outpatient prospective payment system for outpatient services for 2018, would reduce 340B payments to qualified hospitals approximately 28 percent.

 In its formal comment letter to CMS, NAUH argues that the 340B program is appropriately serving the purpose for which it was created – putting additional resources in the hands of hospitals that serve especially large numbers of low-income patients – and that the proposed changes would detract from the ability of urban safety-net hospitals and other safety-net providers to continue delivering many of the services the residents of their low-income communities need that are currently made possible only through savings derived from the 340B program.

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

See NAUH’s letter to CMS here.