Press Release

Statement on Final CY 2018 OPPS Rule

Contact:          Colin Milligan, 202-638-5491, cmilligan@aha.org

                        Marie Johnson, 202-626-2351, mjohnson@aha.org

 

Tom Nickels
Executive Vice President
American Hospital Association

November 1, 2017

 

For 25 years, the 340B Drug Pricing Program has been critical in helping hospitals stretch scarce federal resources to expand access to lifesaving prescription drugs and comprehensive health care for our nation’s most vulnerable patients. The program constitutes less than 2.8 percent of the $457 billion in annual drug purchases made in the U.S. and does not cost the government or taxpayers a single penny.

CMS’s decision in today’s rule to cut Medicare payments to hospitals for drugs covered under the 340B program will dramatically threaten access to health care for many patients, including uninsured and other vulnerable populations. It is not based on sound policy and punishes hospitals and patients for participation in a program outside of CMS’s jurisdiction. 

Contrary to the Administration’s claims, this policy does nothing to address the stated goal of reducing the cost of pharmaceuticals. In fact, the agency’s new policy would actually cause increases in Medicare beneficiaries’ out-of-pocket costs for non-drug Part B benefits.

We strongly urge CMS to abandon its misguided 340B rule, and instead take direct action to halt the unchecked, unsustainable increases in the cost of drugs. In the meantime, the AHA will work with Congress to address this issue. In addition, the AHA will be joining the Association of American Medical Colleges, America’s Essential Hospitals and our members to pursue litigation to prevent these significant cuts to payments for 340B drugs from moving forward.

About the AHA

The AHA is a not-for-profit association of health care provider organizations and individuals that are committed to the health improvement of their communities. The AHA is the national advocate for its members, which include nearly 5,000 hospitals, health care systems, networks, other providers of care and 43,000 individual members. Founded in 1898, the AHA provides education for health care leaders and is a source of information on health care issues and trends. For more information, visit the AHA website at www.aha.org.

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