Survey Results Reinforce that Hospitals Rely on 340B Funding to Provide Care
June 17, 2019
As HAP works to protect payments for 340B hospitals, annual survey findings from 340B Health reveal that the 340B Drug Pricing Program generated an average savings of $11.8 million across all hospitals during 2018. The savings are being used to benefit low-income and rural patients.
Created in 1992, the 340B program requires pharmaceuticals to sell outpatient drugs at discounted prices to health care organizations that care for large numbers of uninsured and low-income patients, serve rural communities, and offer vital services to cancer patients and children.
Many hospitals in the program use the savings to help patients by offering their prescription medications at significantly reduced costs, or no cost at all. In addition, hospitals use the savings to:
- Provide clinical pharmacy services, such as disease management programs or medication therapy management
- Fund other medical services, such as obstetrics, diabetes education, oncology services and other ambulatory services
- Establish additional outpatient clinics to improve access
- Create new community outreach programs
- Offer free vaccinations for vulnerable populations
340B hospitals reported an average of $100,000 to $200,000 in 340B compliance costs, and an average of two full-time employees overseeing and maintaining a hospital’s 340B program.
The survey results identify that the top two areas for use of 340B savings were to support uncompensated and unreimbursed care and to support patient care services (clinical, pharmacy, and patient services)
All hospitals reported that cuts to 340B savings would force them to scale back key programs, including services focused on caring for patients with cancer and diabetes and, more broadly, the provision of uncompensated and unreimbursed care.
The survey was fielded from November–December 2018, and targeted the more than 1,300 hospitals that are members of 340B Health. Respondents said the savings are helping to improve the health and well-being of patients. Nearly nine out of 10 hospitals reported that they had started programs or services with their 340B savings that have improved patient outcomes including:
- Improving medication adherence (81 percent)
- Reducing preventable readmissions (78 percent)
- Improving clinical outcomes for patients (60 percent) including reducing viral load for people living with HIV
- Reducing emergency room use
- Improving opioid prescribing and care
- Reducing mortality rates
HAP and its 340B hospitals have been educating federal lawmakers about the value of the 340B Drug Pricing Program, and making the case against payment cuts. Scaling back the 340B program would only benefit drug companies, while both increasing the federal deficit and negatively impacting the patients and communities who benefit from this important program.
For additional information, contact Laura Stevens Kent, HAP’s vice president, federal legislative advocacy.