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Proposed Review of 340B Drug Discounts Irks Hospitals

John Commins, for HealthLeaders Media, March 26, 2014

Hospitals Push Back
AIM 340B's claims have been hotly disputed by the hospital lobby.

Linda Fishman, the American Hospital Association's senior vice president for public policy analysis and development, told me in an email exchange that the AIM 340B report "ignores the fact that the 340B program enables hospitals to provide essential healthcare services to the nation's most vulnerable populations."

"This vital role 340B hospitals play in their communities cannot be boiled down into a few data points derived from publicly reported information such as the Medicare's Cost Report S-10 worksheet; it is found in the programs and services these 340B hospitals provide every week, every day, every hour. Charity care alone does not account for the myriad programs and services that hospitals provide, which are tailored to the needs of their own unique community," Fishman wrote.

"The more important fact is that 62% of all uncompensated care provided by our nation's hospitals is provided by 340B hospitals. Uncompensated care for these hospitals includes sponsored charity care programs to assist patients seeking care, as well the unreimbursed care provided to patients after care is rendered. Half of all 340B hospitals provide care in rural areas with more than 41% designated as Critical Access Hospitals."

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