An American Hospital Association (AHA) blog today responds to a recent study published in the New England Journal of Medicine (NEJM) alleging that the 340B Study of Drug Pricing Program does not expand access to care to low-income populations or improve their mortality rates, while driving hospital/physician consolidation. CLICK HERE for the 2018 OPPS Medicare Part B Payment Impact Analysis
The 340B Drug Pricing Program helps to support eligible providers, many of which are hospitals, with needed resources to maintain critical services in their communities and to provide comprehensive services to patients. The AHA argues that the study fails to “draw meaningful, valid conclusions about the program due to constraints and flaws in the methodology used.” AHA Executive Vice President Tom Nickels points to broad statements that apply the inaccurate findings of the study to all of those in the program. However, the study excluded a majority of 340B hospitals. The AHA states that:
The study uses a methodological approach (regression-discontinuity) that does not support making broad claims about the 340B Drug Pricing Program.
The study relies on fee-for-service Medicare data only, to make claims about the impact of the 340B Drug Pricing Program on low-income individuals, ignoring that the large majority of low-income people are not enrolled in Medicare.
The study authors applied their own limited interpretation of the intent of the program when selecting measures to evaluate 340B hospitals.
The study fails to account for changes in coding of physician practices during the study period.
The blog references additional concerns with the study as well. More information is available at the AHA website.
HAP has been working closely with the AHA and members of the Pennsylvania congressional delegation to preserve the 340B Drug Pricing Program.