A new bill introduced in the House seeks to bring greater transparency to the controversial 340B prescription drug discount program.
Under H.R.5598, proposed by Rep. Earl “Buddy” Carter (R-GA), hospitals would be required to report the outpatient care they provide to low-income patients in both their main hospital and at pediatric care sites. Hospitals already separately report the inpatient care they provide to such patients.
I introduced this legislation today because I believe the 340B program is very important, but it needs to be improved. 340B is an outpatient program and currently hospitals do not have to report low-income utilization in outpatient settings. This legislation adds an additional layer of transparency to allow us to better understand the patient makeup of DSH hospitals to improve the program and ensure it is truly being used in the most effective way for our nation’s most vulnerable patients.
The 340B program provides discounts to qualified hospitals when they dispense drugs on an outpatient basis to low-income patients. All Medicare disproportionate share (Medicare DSH) hospitals, along with other providers that meet formal criteria, qualify to participate in the program. All NAUH members participate in the 340B program.