McKinley: Cuts to Drug Discount Program Detrimental to Rural Hospitals, Hurt Access to Care

McKinley Seeks to Reverse $1.6B in Cuts to Hospitals

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Washington, July 12, 2018 | comments
This week, the Energy and Commerce Committee began legislative hearings on the 340B prescription drug program, which provides discounts on prescription drugs to healthcare providers who offer uncompensated care. Under pressure from the big pharmaceutical companies, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) issued a ruling in January that cut the 340B savings by nearly 30%. Standing up to big pharma, Congressman David B. McKinley, P.E., (WV-1) introduced H.R. 4392 to reverse the cuts and protect the vulnerable populations who depend on the program. This bill now has 199 bipartisan cosponsors.
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This week, the Energy and Commerce Committee began legislative hearings on the 340B prescription drug program, which provides discounts on prescription drugs to healthcare providers who offer uncompensated care. Under pressure from the big pharmaceutical companies, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) issued a ruling in January that cut the 340B savings by nearly 30%. Standing up to big pharma, Congressman David B. McKinley, P.E., (WV-1) introduced H.R. 4392 to reverse the cuts and protect the vulnerable populations who depend on the program. This bill now has 199 bipartisan cosponsors.

“The 340B program was created in 1992 on a bipartisan basis to provide discounts for prescription drugs to vulnerable populations. Access to healthcare is still a fundamental problem, and cutting funding to providers moves us in the wrong direction,” said McKinley.

“We must get providers, insurance companies and the big pharmaceutical companies to the table to reach a compromise, and it must be done post haste. This misguided ruling cuts $1.6 billion in funding from hospitals nationwide, including $10 million from West Virginia University Medicine. These cuts will only result in a reduction in care or cost sharing,” McKinley added.

Click here to watch McKinley’s remarks during the Energy and Commerce hearing.

Background
Since 1992, the 340B program has used mandated discounts offered by drug manufacturers to help hospitals and other covered entities provide discounted drugs and lifesaving services to their patients.
On November 1, 2017, CMS cut the reimbursement rate for Medicare Part B drugs purchased by certain hospitals covered under the 340B program by around $1.6B. This represents a nearly 30% cut to the reimbursement rate that hospitals receive for 340B drugs. The CMS rule eliminated funding that hospitals use to support the unreimbursed cost of care for those who need it the most.

On September 28, 2017, McKinley and Congressman Mike Thompson (CA-5) organized a bipartisan letter to CMS Administrator Seema Verma urging the administration to withdraw its harmful proposal to cut the 340B Drug Pricing Program. This letter was signed by 228 Members of Congress from both sides of the aisle who understand that protecting access to affordable care is a top priority.

In November 2017, McKinley introduced H.R. 4392, which would reverse the CMS cuts to the 340B program. That bill currently has 187 cosponsors.

To view the text of the H.R. 4392, click here.

To view the bipartisan letter to CMS, click here.
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