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Kustoff Leads 228 Bipartisan Members of Congress in Opposing Proposed Changes to 340B

September 29, 2017
Press Release

Memphis, Tennessee – On Wednesday, September 27, 2017, U.S. Representatives David Kustoff (R-TN), Mike Thompson (D-CA) and David P. McKinley (R-W. VA) led 228 bipartisan members of Congress in sending a letter to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) Administrator Seema Verma urging the administration to withdraw its harmful proposal to levy cuts on certain hospitals participating in the 340B Drug Pricing Program (340B program).

“For 25 years, the 340B program has expanded vital health services to our rural and low-income communities in West Tennessee,” said Kustoff. “CMS’s proposed rule change would slash funding and strip safety net hospitals of the ability to serve those who need medical care the most. We must responsibly address rising prescription drug costs without putting the most vulnerable patients at risk. I hope this overwhelming, bipartisan opposition to the 340B rule change demonstrates the significance of supporting rural and safety net hospitals.”

On July 13, 2017, CMS released the outpatient prospective payment system (OPPS) proposed rule for 2018. The rule would dramatically cut the reimbursement rate for Medicare Part B drugs purchased by certain hospitals covered under the 340B program. These cuts jeopardize care for millions by directly reducing revenue to safety net hospitals that care for vulnerable patents in underserved and rural communities, without addressing the underlying price of the drugs.

Since 1992, the 340B program has leveraged mandated discounts offered by drug manufacturers to help hospitals and other covered entities provide discounted drugs and lifesaving services to their patients. CMS’ proposed rule will eliminate funding that hospitals use to support the unreimbursed cost of care for those who need it the most.

Click here for full text of the letter.