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  • Washington Highlights

    228 Representatives Urge CMS to Rescind Proposed 340B Cuts

    Jason Kleinman, Senior Legislative Analyst, Govt. Relations

    Representatives David McKinley (R-W.Va.), Mike Thompson (D-Calif.), and David Kustoff (R-Tenn.) led a Sept. 27 letter signed by 228 members of the House to urge Centers of Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) Administrator Seema Verma to rescind a proposal in the CY18 Medicare Outpatient Proposed Rule that dramatically cuts Medicare reimbursements to hospitals that participate in the 340B Drug Pricing Program.

    Currently, Medicare pays for separately, payable, non pass-through drugs at the average sales price (ASP) plus 6 percent. CMS proposes to pay drugs purchased under the 340B program at ASP minus 22.5 percent. The AAMC opposes this proposal [see Washington Highlights, July 14].

    The congressional letter notes, “Given the important role that the 340B program plays in our communities, we strongly urge CMS to abandon this proposal and redirect its efforts toward actions to address the cost of drugs via other policies that would not harm our constituents.”

    In a joint press release from the letter’s leads, AAMC Executive Vice President Atul Grover, MD, PhD, stated, “The AAMC thanks Representatives McKinley, Thompson, and Kustoff, along with a majority of House members from both sides of the aisle who have signed on in opposition to this proposal that would weaken the safety net by arbitrarily reducing Medicare payments to hospitals participating in the 340B program. This program is vital to the nation’s health because, at virtually no cost to taxpayers, it strengthens the ability of hospitals to care for underserved populations and provide critical health services to some of America’s most vulnerable patients.”

    A similar letter, spearheaded by Senator John Thune (R-S.D.), is currently being circulated in the Senate.