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On the Hill: Hearing to Examine 340B Oversight

Julia Grady
June 4, 2024

On the heels of last week’s introduction of drug industry–backed legislation to severely restrict the scope of the 340B Drug Pricing Program, a key House health panel this week will hold a hearing on 340B program oversight.

The June 4 hearing by the House Committee on Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations follows last week’s introduction of the 340B Affording Care for Communities and Ensuring a Strong Safety-Net (ACCESS) Act. The bill, introduced by Reps. Larry Bucshon (D-Ind.), Buddy Carter (R-Ga.), and Diana Harshbarger (R-Tenn.), would limit the savings hospitals and other covered entities could achieve through the program and set other restrictions that would undermine the program. Among other changes, the bill would:

  • Alter the definition of “patient.”
  • Set significant monetary penalties on covered entities for non-compliance.
  • Limit hospitals having 340B savings levels that exceed charity care levels.
  • Ban hospitals from having more than five contract pharmacies for 340B disproportionate share hospitals, rural referral centers, or cancer hospitals.
  • Prevent hospitals using 340B drugs for:
    • Insured patients (with exceptions only for public hospitals, critical access hospitals [CAHs], and sole community hospitals [SCHs])
    • Discharge prescriptions
    • Referrals or telehealth (with limited exceptions for CAHs and SCHs)
    • Infusions administered by the hospital, unless the order was written at the hospital.
  • Prevent hospitals from using 340B at:
    • Child sites other than those in locations with a shortage of health services.
    • Child sites that only provide infusion services.

The Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America and the National Association of Community Health Centers, through their alliance under the ASAP 340B banner, are backing the 340B ACCESS Act.

The America’s Essential Hospitals legislative affairs team has been reaching out to subcommittee members and their staff and key stakeholders to convey our position on the program’s importance to essential hospitals and their communities. Association staff are analyzing the legislation for further updates to members.

Congress This Week 

The Senate and House have returned from recess. Both chambers will reconvene Monday through Thursday this week, with just the former meeting on Friday.

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