AAMC President and CEO David J. Skorton, MD, sent a letter on Aug. 13 to Reps. Doris Matsui (D-Calif.) and Chris Stewart (R-Utah) thanking them for introducing legislation (H.R. 7838) to protect safety-net hospitals that participate in the 340B program throughout the duration of the public health emergency (PHE).
The bill would allow 340B hospitals to temporarily maintain their eligibility in the program even if their Medicare disproportionate share hospital adjustment percentage drops below the current threshold. Many hospitals, including teaching hospitals, could be at risk of losing their eligibility due to changes in payer mix as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.
It would also temporarily waive the requirement that prohibits certain 340B hospitals from using a group purchasing organization to purchase covered outpatient drugs during the PHE.
The letter states, “This will reduce cost and increase access to needed medications and provide important relief to 340B hospitals and their patients.”
This bill is similar to a version introduced in the Senate by six bipartisan senators in July, which the AAMC also supported [see Washington Highlights, July 15].