On Dec. 27, 2018, the federal court issued a permanent injunction which would block the Medicare cuts implemented earlier in 2018 finding that the Department of Health & Human Services (HHS) exceeded its authority by making the cuts to 340B Hospitals. These cuts were to reduce Medicare Part B drug payments to many 340B hospitals by nearly 30% which would have caused financial stress on safety net hospitals’ ability to provide lifesaving services to their communities. Further hearings will decide on “proper remedies” for hospital on the $1.6 billion that were taken in 2018.
The cuts originally proposed by the Trump administration under the Outpatient Prospective Payment System back in 2017 was met by an immediately lawsuit by many health care associations shortly after being implemented in 2018. Along with the lawsuit, 57 Senators and 228 House members sent letters to the HHS urging it to not implement the cuts. 340B Health and its members also advocated for newly introduced bipartisan legislation (H.R.4392) that would block these cuts. H.R.4392 was sponsored by 200 other Congressmen. Despite these efforts to block the cuts, HHS published final rules in late 2018 that would continue the cuts into 2019 and increase the scope of the cuts to previously exempt sites.
Prairie Health Ventures would like to thank all of its’ hospitals that helped advocate against these cuts. The court ruling was a big success in protecting the 340B Program and helping hospitals across the county provide more comprehensive services to their communities in need.
Please feel free to contact Andrew Cross for further information.