WASHINGTON, D.C. — U.S. Senator Shelley Moore Capito (R-W.Va.), along with Senators John Thune (R-S.D.), Debbie Stabenow (D-Mich.), Rob Portman (R-Ohio), Tammy Baldwin (D-Wis.), and Ben Cardin (D-Md.) introduced legislation that would provide certainty to hospitals participating in the 340B drug discount program during the COVID-19 public health emergency.
“Our health care safety net providers are needed now more than ever during the coronavirus pandemic, and the 340B program is an essential tool for them to stretch limited resources,” said Senator Capito. “I’m proud to introduce this bill to help to ensure that bureaucratic hurdles do not put care in jeopardy and look forward to moving this across the finish line.”
The COVID-19 public health emergency resulted in many hospitals experiencing a reduction in inpatient hospital admissions of low-income Medicare and Medicaid patients, a critical metric in determining eligibility for the 340B program. Though hospitals have started resuming elective procedures, and patients have begun returning to seek care, there is concern that as a result of this year’s slowdown, some hospitals may not meet the required inpatient admission threshold to remain in the program for the following year. This legislation would ensure that any previously eligible hospital will be deemed eligible for any cost reporting period during which the public health emergency occurred.