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MedPAC Recommendation Puts Vulnerable Patients and Hospitals at Risk

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Statement attributable to:
Bruce Siegel, MD, MPH
President and CEO
America’s Essential Hospitals

WASHINGTON—We are deeply disappointed with the Medicare Payment Advisory Commission (MedPAC) recommendation to cut Medicare Part B reimbursement to hospitals in the 340B Drug Pricing Program.

This change would produce negligible savings for beneficiaries, while putting vulnerable patients and the hospitals on which they depend at risk. In fact, most of the $70 million in estimated beneficiary savings would not go directly to beneficiaries, as 86 percent have supplemental insurance, according to MedPAC figures.

But the commission moved forward with this ill-advised recommendation despite lacking research on how it might affect 340B hospitals and their patients, and on its impact in the context of sweeping 340B changes proposed by the Health Resources and Services Administration. Commissioners themselves were clearly divided on the recommendation and even expressed uncertainty about the scope of their authority to suggest such a change.

It is unclear to us why the commission would recommend an inequitable policy—one at odds with congressional intent and destined to reduce support to a select group of hospitals that serve our most vulnerable patients—while ignoring the larger issue of ballooning drug costs.

We urge the commission to rethink its position and halt this recommendation.

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About America’s Essential Hospitals
America’s Essential Hospitals is the leading association and champion for hospitals and health systems dedicated to high-quality care for all, including the most vulnerable. Since 1981, America’s Essential Hospitals has initiated, advanced, and preserved programs and policies that help these hospitals ensure access to care. We support members with advocacy, policy development, research, and education.

Our roughly 275 members are vital to their communities, providing primary care through trauma care, disaster response, health professional training, research, public health programs, and other services. They innovate and adapt to lead the broader health care community toward more effective and efficient care.

Contact:
Carl Graziano
cgraziano@essentialhospitals.org
202.585.0102

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