America’s Essential Hospitals has 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 association thanked CMS for the accommodations they have granted during COVID-19, but also expressed deep concern with CMS’ ill-timed launch of the 340B acquisition cost survey during this public health emergency. The survey, which began April 24 and runs through May 15, requires hospitals to submit 340B drug acquisition cost data to their Medicare administrative contractors for potential use by CMS in setting future reimbursement rates for Medicare Part B drugs.
CMS’ decision to issue this survey undermines the progress that the agency has made in extending regulatory relief to providers and will create a heavy burden on hospitals laboring to treat patients with COVID-19 during the pandemic.
Considering the burden associated with the survey, America’s Essential Hospitals strongly believes now is not the time to impose this data request on 340B hospitals. These hospitals are singularly focused on responding to the surge of COVID-19. The association notes that even the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) has relaxed certain 340B requirements in wake of the current emergent situation. The burdensome data collection is therefore contrary to both the efforts of CMS and HRSA in easing regulatory burden for essential hospitals.