In a new Modern Healthcare commentary, America’s Essential Hospitals President and CEO Bruce Siegel, MD, MPH, argues that the 340B Drug Pricing Program means more than affordable medications for low-income patients—it also helps essential hospitals provide a wide variety of services for vulnerable people and lifesaving care to entire communities.

“Few government programs produce as much good for so many people with as little cost to taxpayers as the 340B drug pricing program,” Siegel wrote in his commentary, published online Feb. 28 in the magazine, a widely read health care trade publication.

The 340B program not only reaches the hospitals a bipartisan Congress intended to help with the program, but saves taxpayer dollars by requiring drug makers to sell essential hospitals outpatient drugs at a discount. “Allowing these savings to revert to drug companies, or to go toward other uses, would pull the thread of the 340B program and unravel the fabric of essential health services for entire communities,” Siegel warns.