Back Off 340B Data Collection, NASH Tells CMS

The federal government should not impose a new, major data reporting requirement on 340B-eligible hospitals to support the implementation of a new policy that federal courts twice have rejected, NASH told the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services last week.

In formal comments in response to a CMS proposal to require hospitals that participate in the section 340B prescription drug discount program to provide CMS with extensive data on their acquisition costs for 340B drugs, NASH wrote that such data collection would be burdensome; that CMS should not be reducing 340B payments to providers because such a policy decision falls solely within the purview of Congress, which created the program; and that instead of focusing on just this one aspect of the court’s rejection of its attempts to reduce 340B payments, CMS should instead focus on the court’s order that the agency develop a means of reimbursing hospitals for the lost 340B payments Medicare has withheld from providers for the past two years.

Most private safety-net hospitals participate in the 340B program and count on the resources the program generates to help them provide additional services to the low-income residents of the communities in which they are located.

Learn more about why NASH objects to CMS’s planned data reporting requirement in NASH’s formal comment letter to CMS.

Long-Awaited 340B Guidance Withdrawn

The long-awaited “guidance” that was expected to bring potentially major changes to the federal section 340B prescription drug discount program has been withdrawn by the Department of Health and Human Services’ Health Resources and Services Administration.

The final guidance, based on proposed guidance released in mid-2015, was expected to redefine the patients, providers, and prescription drugs eligible to participate in the 340B program. The document was thought to be in the final stages of review by the Office of Management and Budget.

Most private safety-net hospitals are eligible for and participate in the 340B program and it is essential to their ability to serve their communities.

Learn more about the proposed guidance, what it was expected to address, who is relieved and who is unhappy about its withdrawal, and why it was withdrawn in this article in Becker’s Hospital Review.