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Hold the phone: Restrictive 340B legislation retracted!

02.06.17

Federally Qualified Health Centers and qualifying hospitals that benefit from the 340B drug program can breathe a sigh of relief for the near future.


On January 30th, the administration withdrew the pending omnibus guidance from the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) for the 340B Drug Pricing Program, which would have had a negative impact on the way providers of healthcare in highly populated Medicaid environments provide services. The focus of the proposed guidance was to reduce the number of drugs that qualify for 340B pricing and threaten access to care for patients most in need. It was predicted to negatively impact approximately 76% of participants in the program and lead to higher re-admission rates.

The new guidance attempted to change the ways scripts were written, which wouldn’t reflect common practice, the definition of a patient, changing contract pharmacy requirements, and hospital eligibility criteria. This may have cut out a large population of patients and providers from the program and reduce revenues that are used to serve important populations.

So, what’s next? Time will tell, but going forward, healthcare providers should maintain vigilance with the many administrative requirements of the program. I would not be surprised if the offset to the retracted guidance is increased program audits.

For now, 340B providers can relax, but with the current political climate in Washington, nothing would come as a surprise.

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