Representative Doris Matsui (D-Calif.) June 12 introduced the Stretching Entity Resources for Vulnerable (SERV) Communities Act (H.R. 6071) to support and expand the 340B Drug Pricing Program.
The bill would rescind the cuts to Medicare reimbursements for certain safety-net hospitals under the 2018 Outpatient Prospective Payment System (OPPS) final rule [see Washington Highlights, Nov. 3, 2017], clarify the intent of the program, codify the definition of “patient” and prohibit the Health and Human Services Secretary from further narrowing this definition, and expand the program to include safety-net providers that receive grant funding from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMSHA) to provide substance use disorder and mental health services.
Additionally, the SERV Communities Act seeks to improve program integrity by creating parity between covered entity and drug manufacturer audits in the program. It would also require that the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA), which oversees the program, create a website displaying manufacturer ceiling prices and impose civil monetary penalties on manufacturers that are not compliant with the program.
AAMC President and CEO Darrell G. Kirch issued a quote in support of the bill. He noted, “For more than two decades, the 340B drug pricing program has been a lifeline for safety net providers and the vulnerable patients and communities they serve. We applaud Rep. Matsui for introducing legislation that will strengthen the program for years to come. We look forward to working with lawmakers to help move this important bill forward.”
A section-by-section summary of the bill is available here.