The association for U.S. for-profit hospitals submitted a brief to the U.S. Supreme Court and released a study today arguing against reversing the nearly 30 percent cut in what Medicare pays many public and private nonprofit hospitals for physician-administered, 340B-purchased drugs.
The Federation of American Hospitals’ (FAH) legal brief and study are likely a disappointment for fellow hospital associations trying to get the cuts reversed for their 340B hospitals members. Three of those groups—the American Hospital Association (AHA), the Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC), and America’s Essential Hospitals—asked the Supreme Court in February to overturn a federal appeals court’s 2-1 decision in July 2020 upholding the reimbursement reductions, which began in 2018 and total an estimated $1.6 billion annually.
The three groups plus a fourth, 340B Health, also are trying to persuade the Biden administration to discontinue the cuts next year. The cuts began under the Trump administration, which touted them as one of its major achievements to reduce drug costs for consumers.
340B Health said it had no comment on today’s developments. We have reached out for comment from the three other hospitals associations that are trying to end the cuts.
In a blog post today, FAH said the current Medicare Part B drug reimbursement policy for 340B disproportionate share hospitals, urban sole community hospitals, and rural referral centers “works for Medicare and America’s seniors. Reversing it would not only substantially increase Medicare patients’ cost burden for drugs acquired under the 340B program, but also would lower net total payments to most OPPS hospitals, restoring the inefficiencies that the current policy corrects.”
This is a developing story. We plan to publish a follow-up story tomorrow, with details about FAH’s Supreme Court brief and study as well as reaction.