FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
May 6, 2020
Essential Hospitals Urge CMS to Withdraw 340B Cost Survey
WASHINGTON—America’s Essential Hospitals today called on the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) to immediately withdraw the agency’s survey on 340B Drug Pricing Program acquisition costs, saying it imposes an unnecessary and costly burden on hospitals as they battle COVID-19.
“The complex and burdensome nature of the 340B survey, as well as the lack of notice and short timeframe to complete it, pose daunting challenges for covered entities, particularly as they struggle with limited resources during the COVID-19 pandemic,” the association wrote in a May 6 letter to CMS Administrator Seema Verma, MPH.
America’s Essential Hospitals commended CMS and the Health Resources and Services Administration, which administers the 340B program, for various recent measures to ease regulatory burden during the COVID-19 crisis. “However, we are deeply troubled by CMS’ ill-timed launch of the 340B Drug Pricing Program acquisition cost survey during the COVID-19 crisis,’’ the association said. “The decision to issue this survey undermines the progress CMS has made in extending regulatory relief to providers.”
The association represents more than 300 hospitals that care for large numbers of low-income and other vulnerable patients, a commitment to mission that leaves them with limited resources. The survey will require these hospitals to “expend additional resources on dedicated personnel, staff training, and changes to hospital workflows” when they can least afford these costs, America’s Essential Hospitals said in its letter.
The association said providers will be further challenged as they have no lead time to prepare for the survey and only three weeks to complete it. “Due to the survey’s burdensome nature, its poor timing amid an unprecedented pandemic, and the lack of clear communication of its launch, we urge CMS to withdraw the survey immediately,” the association wrote.
A copy of the letter is available for download from the America’s Essential Hospitals website.
# # #
About America’s Essential Hospitals
America’s Essential Hospitals is the leading champion for hospitals and health systems dedicated to high-quality care for all, including the most vulnerable. We support our more than 300 members with advocacy, policy development, research, and education. Communities depend on essential hospitals to provide specialized, lifesaving services; train the health care workforce; advance public health and health equity; and coordinate care. Essential hospitals innovate and adapt to lead the way to more effective and efficient care. Learn more at essentialhospitals.org.