In a significant development, a GOP-led U.S. House health subcommittee this afternoon voted 16 to 12 along party lines to pass and send to the full committee legislation to impose significant new reporting requirements on 340B disproportionate share hospitals.
The Energy & Commerce Subcommittee on Health’s vote on Vice Chair Larry Bucshon’s (R-Ind.) bill, H.R. 3290, paves the way for full committee action on it possibly as soon as next week. The committee’s Republican majority reportedly aims to finish work on bills addressing transparency and competition in health care by Memorial Day.
“Any Other Covered Entity”
Bucshon’s bill would give the U.S. Secretary of Health and Human Services discretion to impose the 340B DSH hospital reporting requirements on “any other covered entity.” It also would authorize HHS to audit covered entities about how they use 340B program savings.
If the full committee and full House pass the bill, it very likely would face tough sledding in the Democratic-controlled Senate. Several Democratic subcommittee members spoke out against the bill as too burdensome and one-sided. Among their concerns they brought up are the contract pharmacy restrictions imposed by drug manufacturers. Bucshon said that the contract pharmacy matter should first be addressed by the courts.
The subcommittee earlier today voted 27-0 to amend, pass, and send to the full committee another bill, H.R. 3281, that deeply concerns groups that represent 340B providers. The amended version includes language that would require state contracts with Medicaid managed care contractors to limit drug reimbursement—including for 340B acquired drugs—to ingredient cost plus a dispensing fee. Another provision would do more to align Medicare payments for items and services furnished in hospital outpatient departments with those furnished in physician offices.
We will report more on these developments tomorrow.