The AHA, joined by member hospitals and health systems and other national organizations representing hospitals, yesterday filed petitions asking the U.S. Supreme Court to reverse appeals court decisions in two important cases for patients and providers.

The two cases being appealed to the U.S. Supreme Court are:

  • A lawsuit challenging the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ nearly 30% cut to 2018 and 2019 Medicare outpatient prospective payment system drug payments for certain hospitals participating in the 340B Drug Pricing Program. A district court had sided with the AHA and found that the payment reductions were unlawful. However, last July, two members of the three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals agreed to overturn that ruling, despite a spirited dissent questioning the majority’s deference to the government’s position. View the petition.
  • A lawsuit challenging HHS’ payment reductions in the 2019 outpatient payment rule for certain hospital outpatient off-campus provider-based departments. A lower court twice found that HHS exceeded its statutory authority when it reduced these payments. But, in July, a three-judge appeals panel reversed this decision. View the petition.

“In an era of skyrocketing drug prices, the 340B program has been critical in helping hospitals expand access to comprehensive health services to vulnerable communities, including lifesaving prescription drugs. Many of the important programs and services that the 340B program allows eligible hospitals to provide would otherwise be unavailable. These cuts have resulted in the continued loss of resources during this pandemic, which comes at the worst possible time for patients and communities,” said AHA President and CEO Rick Pollack. “The unlawful cuts to hospital outpatient departments directly undercut the clear intent of Congress to protect them because of the many real and crucial differences between them and other sites of care. These hospital outpatient departments are held to higher regulatory standards and are often the only point of access for patients with the most severe chronic conditions, all of whom receive treatment regardless of ability to pay.”

In addition, Pollack said AHA “will continue to fight for our patients and communities and have put forward compelling arguments that these cases should be taken up by the Supreme Court. We are hopeful that these unlawful cuts will be overturned so that hospitals and health systems can continue to provide the services people need the most.”

For more details, see the AHA press release.

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