At least 48 hospitals lost their eligibility for 340B drug discounts for reasons related to the COVID-19 pandemic and are seeking reinstatement to the 340B program, the U.S. Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) said this week.
April 14 was the deadline for such hospitals that want to reenroll in 340B to attest to HRSA that the public health emergency (PHE) disrupted their admission patterns to the point that their Medicare disproportionate share (DSH) adjustment percentage fell below the level needed to qualify for 340B drug pricing. Congress passed a spending bill last month with language to help such hospitals get back into 340B and others that similarly may lose their eligibility through the end of this year.
Hospitals must fill out a three-page attestation form describing “any actions taken by or other impact on the hospital in response to or as a result of the COVID-19 PHE that may have impacted the hospital’s ability to meet the applicable required DSH percentage for participation in the 340B program.”
HRSA said last month that after the spending bill was passed it contacted 94 hospitals terminated from 340B during the pandemic for any reason to alert them about potential reinstatement.
A HRSA spokesperson said that, as of April 15, 48 hospitals had submitted attestations for reinstatement under the new law. HRSA declined to identify the hospitals. It is unknown if other eligible hospitals were unaware of or decided not to take advantage of the reinstatement option.
Last summer, a Modern Healthcare analysis of Medicare cost reports showed that about one out of four 340B DSH hospitals and about one out of 10 340B rural referral centers and sole community hospitals were vulnerable to losing their 340B eligibility.
There is no guarantee that hospitals that apply for reinstatement to 340B will be let back in, no questions asked. HRSA told the 94 hospitals it contacted last month that “requests will be evaluated on a case-by-case basis.”