Judge rules that HHS must immediately halt unlawful reimbursement cuts to certain 340B hospitals for rest of 2022
The United States District Court for the District of Columbia today ruled in favor of the AHA, holding that the Department of Health and Human Services must immediately halt the departments’ unlawful cuts to outpatient reimbursement rates for the remainder of 2022 for certain hospitals that participate in the 340B Drug Pricing Program.
“The prospective portion of the 2022 reimbursement rate shall be vacated because it is defective and because vacating this portion of the 2022 OPPS Rule will not cause substantial disruption,” wrote Judge Rudolph Contreras. “HHS should not be allowed to continue its unlawful 340B reimbursements for the remainder of the year just because it promises to fix the problem later.”
The AHA in August urged the court to halt the 2022 cuts, explaining that “each and every passing day” HHS continues to "underpay for 340B drugs pursuant to this unlawful" policy.
Judge Contreras has not yet ruled on AHA’s motion to include 2020-2022 reimbursement cuts in AHA’s case, as well as AHA’s motion to repay hospitals for the unlawful cuts since 2018 without penalizing other hospitals. AHA’s August brief noted that nothing in the 340B law authorizes HHS to retrospectively take back these funds, and in similar circumstances HHS has never recouped funds already spent without explicit congressional authorization, which does not exist here.
The Supreme Court of the United States on June 15 unanimously ruled in favor of the AHA’s challenge to HHS’ drastic cuts to outpatient reimbursement rates for certain hospitals that participate in the 340B program. The Supreme Court did not, however, specify the remedy for HHS’ unlawful cuts and remanded the case to the District Court for the District of Columbia.