340B Health


in 340B Health News Releases

WASHINGTON, D.C.— Medicare Part D beneficiaries who received retail and specialty drugs through prescriptions from 340B disproportionate share (DSH) hospitals were more likely to be from patient populations that historically have been underserved by the health care system, according to a new report. The data add to the growing body of research demonstrating that hospitals participating in the 340B drug pricing program serve crucial roles serving patients in need, including those living with low incomes, individuals with disabilities, and persons of color.

The report, prepared for 340B Health by Dobson DaVanzo & Associates, uses Medicare Part D prescribing data to compare patients receiving prescriptions from 340B DSH hospitals with those receiving drugs from non-340B hospitals or private physician offices. Congress created 340B to help safety-net hospitals, health centers, and clinics stretch their scarce resources to care for more patients and offer more comprehensive services. To participate, hospitals must prove that patients with low incomes represent a disproportionate share of their total patient load.

The data show that significantly higher percentages of Part D beneficiaries receiving prescriptions from providers practicing at 340B DSH hospitals are members of patient populations that have struggled to access and afford needed health care:

  • The proportion of beneficiaries receiving a low-income subsidy (LIS) from Medicare was 19.6% higher at 340B hospitals than at non-340B hospitals and 47.5% higher than at physician offices. Prior research has found significant health, demographic, and spending differences between beneficiaries who have low incomes and those who do not.
  • The proportion of beneficiaries who identified as Black was 40.5% higher at 340B hospitals than at non-340B hospitals and 54.5% higher than at physician offices. For patients identifying as Hispanic, those figures were 12.8% and 11% higher, respectively. Research shows communities of color face a disproportionate illness burden and barriers to care.
  • The proportion of beneficiaries who are eligible for Medicare due to a disability was 14.5% higher at 340B hospitals than at non-340B hospitals and 55.6% higher than at physician offices. Research demonstrates Medicare beneficiaries living with disabilities have higher health care costs on average than non-disabled individuals.

The new report shows findings consistent with a 340B Health study from 2019 on Part B drugs, demonstrating that patients receiving Part D drugs from 340B hospitals also are more likely to have lower incomes. Providers typically administer Part B drugs directly to the patient in hospital outpatient departments (HOPDs) or office settings. Part D drugs are typically prescribed to patients at HOPDs and are self-administered by the patient. The newest findings challenge the assumptions of critics who focus on the locations of the 340B hospital outpatient departments – where patients are prescribed Part D drugs – as a basis for questioning whether the program fulfills its safety-net mission.

“This new report is the latest to demonstrate how 340B hospitals are consistently caring for patients in need,” said 340B Health President and CEO Maureen Testoni. “By looking at data from individual patients being treated instead of making assumptions based on geographic location, this study confirms 340B hospitals’ commitment to access for underserved populations.”

Please read the full report and an infographic summarizing the top findings.

Contact: Jon Tilton at jon.tilton@340bhealth.org or 202-536-2285