A bipartisan group of senators has written to Senate majority leader Mitch McConnell and Senate minority leader Chuck Schumer expressing concern about cuts in Medicare Medicare prescription drug payments to qualified providers as a result of new regulations governing the section 340B prescription drug discount program.  Those cuts have been adopted by regulation by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services and will take effect beginning on January 1, 2018.

Under the regulation adopted by CMS, Medicare payments for prescription drugs dispensed on an outpatient basis to low-income patients will be reduced to qualified providers by $1.6 billion in the coming year.  While acknowledging problems with how the 340B program has evolved over the years, the senators ask their leaders to partner “…with CMS and other stakeholders to ensure the 340B program continues to support safety-net providers in helping low-income individuals access quality health care services with proper oversight and transparency.”

Most private safety-net hospitals participate in the 340B program and NAUH has communicated its opposition to the reduction in payments to both CMS and Congress.

See the letter here.