Advocacy Alert

Urge Your Lawmakers to Support Essential Health System Designation

On the Hill: House Hearing Examines 340B Transparency

Julia Grady
June 11, 2024

Last week the House Committee on Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations held a hearing to examine oversight of the 340B Drug Pricing Program.

Some subcommittee members and witnesses described existing definitions of 340B “patient” and patient eligibility as overly vague and expressed concern the definitions could lead to confusion and program misuse. There was support for establishing more precise definitions so the program could better target health care systems actively serving low-income, uninsured, and underinsured patients.

There also was disagreement about the level of transparency required in reporting by health systems. Some subcommittee members and witnesses argued for greater transparency for the amount and allocation of covered entities’ 340B savings, while others said the program already maintains a high degree of transparency.

Some subcommittee members and hearing witnesses claimed health systems manipulate the program to qualify for 340B status without treating underserved patients and do this by acquiring practices to meet, but not exceed, the disproportionate share percentage required for eligibility. This, they said, argues for reforming the disproportionate share hospital calculation.

The America’s Essential Hospitals legislative affairs team continues reaching out to subcommittee members and staff and key stakeholders to convey the association’s position on the program’s importance to essential hospitals and their communities. The team predicts ongoing attention to this issue through the November elections.

Committee Activity This Week

The House and Senate will convene for recess Tuesday through Friday this week.

The House Committee on Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Health will hold a hearing June 13, at 10 am ET, titled, “Checking-In on CMMI: Assessing the Transition to Value-Based Care.” The House Committee on the Budget will meet June 13, at 10 am ET, for a hearing, “Medicare and Social Security: Examining Solvency and Impacts to the Federal Budget.”

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