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AAHAM Government Relations Monthly Roundtable Discussions
The AAHAM Government Relations Committee would like to hold monthly calls with Chapter Presidents, Chapter Government Relations Chairs and Members who are interested in becoming active in AAHAM’s legislative healthcare reform initiatives. What happens in Washington usually starts back home in your states. These calls will generate discussions on what is happening in Washington and will enable intel to be shared on what is happening across the country at the state level. These sessions will be focused on healthcare issues that are taking place. These calls will also serve as an opportunity to use this information as a grassroots blueprint to utilize in your own chapter.

The first call is scheduled for Tuesday, October 25, 2022, at 4:30 PM EST.

Subsequent calls will be on the 4th Tuesday of the month at 4:30 PM EST.

Click here to register for the next call Click here to submit topics for discussion

Wednesday, June 13, 2018

Major Pro-340B Legislation Introduced in Congress

Long overdue legislation introduced in Congress today would protect hospitals and other healthcare providers participating in the 340B drug discount program against drug manufacturer overcharging. It also would clarify 340B’s intent, codify key program definitions, and stop deep Medicare cuts to 340B hospitals.

The legislation, authored by U.S. Rep. Doris Matsui (D-Calif.), is titled the Stretching Entity Resources for Vulnerable Communities (SERV Communities) Act. While several anti-340B bills have been introduced in recent months, the Matsui bill is the first legislation to strengthen and protect the program. Matsui is a member of the House Energy and Commerce Committee, which has jurisdiction over the 340B program. 340B Health strongly supports the legislation.

“Hospitals and clinics doing life-saving work rely on the 340B Program to help them provide inclusive and affordable care in their communities,” said Congresswoman Matsui. “Unfortunately, the program is being incorrectly used as a scapegoat for high drug prices by the Trump Administration. This legislation makes clear the importance of preserving the program so safety net providers can continue to serve low-income and vulnerable patients, while expanding it to help address the opioid crisis.”

“This legislation is essential to the success of the 340B program in helping safety net providers meet the health needs of low-income and rural patients across the country,” said Interim President and CEO Maureen Testoni. “By holding pharmaceutical manufacturers accountable for their actions and providing pricing transparency to the thousands of safety-net providers that participate in the program, the SERV Communities Act will reduce costs and expand access to needed care.” To view our full statement click here.

Key Provisions of the SERV Communities Act
The Matsui bill would:
•    Codify the purpose of the 340B program as Congress intended: “to stretch scarce resources as far as possible, reaching more eligible patients and providing more comprehensive services” and clarifies that the discounts are given to the hospital or clinic to use in a manner that best suits the needs of their community.
•    Protects providers against manufacturer overcharging by requiring the federal government to enforce a 2010 law imposing civil monetary penalties on manufacturers that “knowingly and intentionally” overcharge 340B providers. The Trump administration recently delayed enforcement of those rules until July 1, 2019, but the bill would require HHS to enforce the rules effective July 1, 2018 and require the Government Accountability Office to report on the extent to which HHS is carrying out the CMP provisions.
•    Require HHS to launch a secure website to give hospitals and other providers access to 340B ceiling prices within 90 days of enactment.
•    Codify a longstanding federal policy requiring manufacturers to charge 340B providers a penny for drugs that rise at a rate significantly higher than the rate of inflation, for which the statute imposes a penalty that brings the 340B price down to zero.
•    Codify the definition of “patient” as defined in the 1996 guidance published by HRSA.
•    Bar manufacturers from using limited distribution networks to discriminate against 340B providers.
•    Allow Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) grantees to participate in the 340B program.

In another important move, the bill would require HHS’s Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) to audit drug manufacturers in proportion to the share of providers it audits and make sure manufacturers are calculating 340B prices correctly. To date, HRSA has audited more than 900 hospitals and only 11 manufacturers.

Another significant provision of the Matsui legislation would reverse the nearly 30 percent cut in Medicare Part B reimbursement to many 340B hospitals that took effect Jan. 1, 2018. The bill echoes legislation introduced in 2017 by Rep. David McKinley (R-W.Va.) that currently has 198 cosponsors. Matsui’s bill would direct the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services’ (CMS) to pay 340B hospitals for drugs provided on or after Jan. 1, 2018, at the same rate as paid to non-340B hospitals.

To read a detailed section-by-section summary of the legislation click here. To ask your lawmaker to cosponsor this legislation click here.
Author: Anonym
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