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WASHINGTON, D.C.— The Medicare Payment Advisory Commission (MedPAC) today discussed its new analysis of Medicare drug spending at hospitals participating in the 340B drug pricing program. Lawmakers had asked the commission to explore whether the 340B program creates incentives for the use of more or higher-cost drugs after the Government Accountability Office (GAO) raised questions about the issue in 2015. MedPAC will include a section on 340B hospital drug spending in an upcoming report.

The MedPAC analysis focused on cancer care. It found that there were no differences in drug spending between 340B hospitals and non-340B hospitals for three out of five cancer types that it investigated. For the other two types of cancer, it found differences in drug spending, but MedPAC analysts said they were “unable to attribute these findings to incentives created by 340B.”

“The thoughtful analysis MedPAC presented today sheds important light on the role 340B hospitals play in treating people living with cancer,” said 340B Health President and Chief Executive Officer Maureen Testoni. “MedPAC’s rigorous approach focusing on specific types of cancer finds only small per-beneficiary spending differences between 340B and non-340B hospitals. MedPAC noted these differences could stem from the fact that 340B hospitals use more advanced treatments and serve younger cancer patients who often require more aggressive treatments. As an integral component of the health care safety net, 340B hospitals have a proportion of Medicare-Medicaid dual-eligible patients that is more than 40 percent higher than non-340B hospitals. This also is a contributing factor to higher patient complexity and cost at 340B hospitals.”

Contact: Richard Sorian at richard.sorian@340bhealth.org or 202-536-2285.