On March 1, 2018, Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) introduced legislation that would require new federal government reporting by hospitals regarding their 340B purchases and revenue under the program. The “Ensuring the Value of the 340B Program Act” requires 340B hospitals to report (1) the total acquisition costs of drugs purchased through the 340B program and (2) the total revenues received from all third party payers for those drugs, as well as a breakdown of revenues received from each payer. Sen. Grassley claimed in a press release that “[b]y understanding the difference in those two amounts, Congress will be able to assess whether the program is working as intended.”
However, hospital groups said the data points required under the bill would not adequately measure the benefit to hospitals under the 340B program nor how hospitals meet the intent of the program. 340B Health said in a statement that hospitals’ savings under the program are instead determined by comparing the 340B acquisition costs against what the hospitals would have paid for the drugs in the absence of the program. The American Hospital Association reported yesterday that 340B tax-exempt hospitals provided more than $50 billion in total benefits to their communities in 2015.
Sen. Grassley’s bill marks the third piece of 340B legislation introduced in Congress to date that several national hospital organizations have opposed. Last month, Sen. Bill Cassidy (R-La.) introduced the HELP Act and Reps. Larry Bucshon (R-Ind.) and Scott Peters (D-CA) introduced the 340B PAUSE Act.