COMMENT LETTER TO CMS CALLS FOR SCRAPPING PROPOSAL TO DEEPEN MEDICARE CUTS TO 340B HOSPITALS IN 2021
WASHINGTON, D.C.— The administration should abandon its plan to impose deeper Medicare payment cuts next year to many hospitals participating in the 340B drug pricing program, 340B Health stated in a public comment letter.
Our comment letter to the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) is in response to the proposed 2021 Medicare outpatient prospective payment system (OPPS) rule that the agency released in August. CMS plans to reduce Medicare Part B drug payments to many 340B hospitals to even lower levels starting next year than the deep pay cuts that have been in place since 2018. The agency also is seeking public comment on an alternative proposal that would keep the 340B pay cuts at the same levels in 2021 as the current reductions. Since Jan. 1, 2018, these payments have been nearly 30% lower than those made to other hospitals.
Our letter strongly opposes both continuing the current cuts and reducing pay rates further starting Jan. 1, 2021. We note that such payment reductions would harm the ability of safety-net hospitals to finance needed care for low-income patients, would not reduce patient costs or Medicare spending, are based on flawed assumptions and data, and are contrary to federal law. The letter calls on CMS to pay 340B hospitals for Part B drugs at the same rate of average sales price (ASP) plus 6% that it is proposing for non-340B hospitals.
“Both proposals would deepen the damage done to the safety net and the millions of patients who rely on these hospitals for their care at a time when our hospitals are caring for those afflicted with COVID-19,” the letter states. “We urge CMS to restore Medicare Part B payments to the statutory level established by Congress of ASP + 6%.”
Contact: Richard Sorian at email@example.com or 202-536-2285.