Criticism of the hospitals participating in the 340B drug program continues, and it’s a matter of grave concern to safety-net and other qualifying hospitals.
Yesterday the Alliance for Integrity & Reform of 340B issued a report titled Unfulfilled Expectations: An Analysis of Charity Care Provided by 340B Hospitals. As the first two words in the title indicate, the report is critical of hospitals qualifying under the program, alleging that over two-thirds of them provide charity care below the national average for all hospitals. It contrasts them unfavorably with the other class of 340B qualifiers: grantees of certain federal programs, which are required to invest prescribed amounts in serving specified vulnerable populations.
The report argues that qualification as a Disproportionate Share Hospital is not an appropriate proxy for entitlement to 340B discounts and should be changed. It observes that increased Medicaid enrollment expected under Obamacare will exacerbate the problem by increasing the number of qualifying hospitals.
The report has already received major attention in the national media, including yesterday’s edition of Forbes.