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What is the New Legislation for the 340B Discount Drug Program?

In case you missed it, two new pieces of legislation have been introduced to help fix the 340B discount drug program. In the end of 2017, the 340B PAUSE Act was introduced by Representatives Larry Bucshon and Scott Peters. Early in 2018, Senator Bill Cassidy introduced the HELP ACT.

These pieces of legislation would pause the enrollment of new disproportionate share hospitals (DSH hospitals) and their new offsite outpatient facilities and put much needed reporting requirements in place for many hospitals participating in the program.

So how will these proposed piece of legislation impact the 340B program? Specifically, the 340B PAUSE Act and the HELP ACT would:

  • Pause the enrollment of new DSH hospitals and registration of any new offsite outpatient facilities of these hospitals for two years from the date of enactment (exempting hospitals with rural designations and grantees like Ryan White clinics and hemophilia treatment centers).
  • Impose reporting requirements on DSH, cancer and children’s hospitals that will increase transparency on how the program is used.
  • Increase transparency of the newly reported data by making most data publicly available.
  • Strengthen government oversight with Government Accountability Office (GAO) and Office of Inspector General (OIG) reports on key areas in need of reform, including the government contracts that certain private DSH hospitals use to help qualify for 340B.

In addition to the above, the HELP ACT would:

  • Implement clear eligibility standards for private DSH, children’s and cancer hospitals and their offsite outpatient facilities.
  • Create a claims modifier to make it easier to identify and prevent duplicate discounts.

The 340B Discount Drug Program is an important program for uninsured and vulnerable patients and the providers who are dedicated to treating them.