Sunday, March 30, 2014

Random charts - charity care


"... A new analysis released today by the Alliance for Integrity and Reform of 340B (AIR 340B) indicates that a substantial portion of hospitals enrolled in the 340B program provide only a minimal amount of charity care; as such, they may not be fulfilling Congress’ expectations. The study, compiled from newly available public data analyzed by Avalere Health, noted that the 340B drug discount program was designed by Congress to help safety net providers improve access to prescription medicines for uninsured, vulnerable patients in the outpatient hospital setting. Yet, the analysis shows, most hospitals that benefit from the program provide less charity care than the national average for all hospitals, and charity care in about a quarter of all 340B hospitals represents 1% or less of total patient costs. A small number of 340B hospitals provide the lion’s share of all charity care delivered by 340B hospitals. These findings raise pressing questions about the 340B eligibility criteria for DSH hospitals. “340B is a valuable program, but it doesn’t always work the way Congress intended”

The Alliance styles itself "... a coalition of patient advocacy groups, clinical care providers and biopharmaceutical innovators dedicated to reforming and strengthening the 340B program to ensure it directly supports access to outpatient prescription medicines for uninsured indigent patients...." but critics point out the large number of drug companies that are members... 

While criticizing the report, America's Essential Hospitals' senior vice president, policy and advocacy, said people should "consider the source behind it." (see here).

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