STATEMENT ON THE NEW SENATE BILL TO SUPPORT 340B HOSPITALS DURING THE COVID-19 PANDEMIC
WASHINGTON, D.C.— Sen. John Thune (R-S.D.) today introduced a bill to protect 340B hospital eligibility during the COVID-19 pandemic. Sens. Tammy Baldwin (D-Wis.), Shelley Moore Capito (R-W.Va.), Ben Cardin (D-Md.), Rob Portman (R-Ohio), and Debbie Stabenow (D-Mich.) are original cosponsors of the legislation. The following statement on the bill is attributed to 340B Health President and CEO Maureen Testoni:
“We are pleased by this extraordinary show of bipartisan support for 340B hospitals serving on the front lines of the COVID-19 pandemic. This legislation will make sure safety-net hospitals will not lose their access to drug price discounts because of the changes in operation necessitated by the pandemic. This, in turn, protects patients at a time of public health emergency.”
“Senators Thune, Baldwin, Capito, Cardin, Portman, and Stabenow have joined together to advance a common sense policy, and we urge the Congress to include this vital proposal in the next piece of legislation it enacts to respond to the multiple challenges presented by COVID-19.”
“Many 340B hospitals qualify for drug price discounts because they serve a disproportionately large percentage of patients with low incomes who are enrolled in Medicaid and Medicare Part B. Because of the changes these hospitals have had to make to care for COVID-19 patients and postpone most elective procedures, some may see their patient mix change in a way that could cause them to become ineligible. The result would be a dramatic increase in drug costs at a time when they can least afford for that to happen.”
“340B hospitals provide two-thirds of all inpatient care provided to Medicaid patients each year. They account for more than 60% of all uncompensated care in the country yet represent only 38% of acute care hospitals. The savings created by 340B drug price discounts enable these hospitals to continue to care for patients in need without relying on additional taxpayer dollars.”
“Today’s legislation continues a legacy of bipartisan support for 340B. In May, more than 120 Democratic and Republican members of the House of Representatives signed a letter to House leaders urging them to include such a policy in the next COVID-19 legislative package. We are grateful for this support and urge enactment of this policy.”
Contact: Richard Sorian at firstname.lastname@example.org or 202-536-2285.