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Report misses mark on 340B program

By Tom Nickels
October 10, 2017

The latest report from AIR340B, a group financed and backed by the pharmaceutical industry, continues to misrepresent a program with a successful 25-year history of helping hospitals stretch scarce financial resources to expand and improve access to lifesaving prescription drugs and comprehensive health services for the many patients served by participating hospitals. The report attempts to mislead the debate by comparing changes in the “charity care” provided by a small sample... read more

Topic: Advocacy and Public Policy
Tag: 340B

Preserve the 340B program

By Tom Nickels
March 9, 2017

Every day, we see stories about the exorbitant costs of prescription drugs and the serious challenges they pose for individuals and the entire health care system.

One program that has a 25-year track record of improving access to medications and health care services for people in vulnerable communities is the 340B Drug Pricing Program.

It requires pharmaceutical manufacturers participating in Medicaid to sell many outpatient drugs at discounted prices to health care organizations... read more

Topic: Advocacy and Public Policy
Tag: 340B

Hospitals, not pharmaceutical manufacturers, are preserving and protecting the safety net

By Tom Nickels
May 17, 2016

A group financed by the pharmaceutical industry is hosting a meeting today on the 340B Drug Pricing Program with the goal of “Preserving the True Safety Net.” But what the meeting really will be about is the pharmaceutical industry – with their skyrocketing prescription drug prices and huge profits – discussing how they can continue to disparage a program with a 25-year history of increasing access to medications and health care services for people in vulnerable communities.

Let’s... read more

Topic: Access and Coverage
Tags: 340B, Drug Pricing Program, Community benefit, access, drug prices

Momentum Building to Replace "All-or-Nothing" Approach to Meaningful Use

By Tom Nickels
May 16, 2016

Hospitals have made good faith efforts to comply with the multitude of requirements under the federal meaningful use program to adopt Electronic Health Records (EHRs). However, under the current approach, failure to meet any one of the requirements, even by a small amount, results in a large penalty. This is unfair to hospitals diligently working to comply with the requirements and expending significant resources to do so.

That’s why we are so pleased with the draft language... read more

Topic: Advocacy and Public Policy
Tag: Meaningful Use

Changing 340B is the wrong prescription for addressing skyrocketing pharmaceutical costs

By Tom Nickels
March 8, 2016

The rapidly rising costs of prescription drugs is causing significant financial challenges for patients and their care providers.

Many groups, including the AHA, are evaluating options for addressing this important issue. However, one recent proposal, which is seriously misguided, would reduce a program with a 25-year history of increasing access to medications and health care services for people in vulnerable communities in order to add to record profits of drug... read more

Topic: Access and Coverage
Tags: 340B, Drug Pricing Program, access, price, drug prices

AHA Swiftly Reacts to Protect Rural Health

By Tom Nickels
February 17, 2016

Rural hospitals are their community’s anchor. By providing 24/7 care, essential public services and access to primary care for the 57 million people that live in rural America, these hospitals are vitally important. That’s why the AHA swiftly reacted to guidance issued by CMS late last year which included some inconsistent requirements, and worked with CMS to explain our concerns that some Critical Access Hospitals (CAHs) may lose their designation as a result of CMS’... read more

Topic: Access and Coverage
Tags: Community health, rural, CAHs, Critical Access Hospitals

Setting the Record Straight on Community Benefit

By Tom Nickels
November 17, 2015

A recent study questioned how nonprofit hospitals communicate with patients who are eligible for charity care and what they charge for the care provided. The only conclusion that can be drawn with certainty is that the researchers don’t understand how the relevant section of the law, Sec.501(r), is supposed to work. 

The researcher’s inclusion of only data regarding the completion of Community Health Needs Assessment (CHNA) by the end of 2012 is problematic because hospitals are... read more

Topic: Community Health
Tag: Community health

Physician Owned Hospitals Could Jeopardize Access to Care

By Tom Nickels
November 10, 2015

There is a little-known – but critical – law that helps ensure hospitals are able to care for their communities.  It is a ban on physician self-referral to hospitals in which they have an ownership interest. A permanent ban was put into effect in 2010 and eliminating it would raise the federal deficit by $500 million. The ban has long had bipartisan Congressional support and the initial moratorium on the practice of self-referral passed in 2003 under a Republican Congress and was... read more

Topic: Advocacy and Public Policy
Tag: access

Hospital Outpatient Departments Provide Critical Patient Access to Care

By Tom Nickels
October 30, 2015

The mischaracterizations in a recent blog about hospital outpatient departments (HOPD) fails to recognize the importance of patient access to care that these HOPDs provide, especially among patients who are sicker, the poor, minorities and seniors. Moreover, rural communities will be most adversely impacted, as hospitals will no longer be able to provide the stability that helps physicians in these communities continue to serve their patients. Hospital services are subject to more... read more

Tags: site neutral payment, access

340B Proposals Would Jeopardize Hospitals' Ability to Serve Vulnerable Patients

By Tom Nickels
October 27, 2015

The 340B Drug Pricing Program has a strong track record of helping to combat high prescription drug prices and increase access to vital medicines and comprehensive health care services for our nation’s most vulnerable individuals.

However, we are concerned that recent policy changes proposed by the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA), the federal agency responsible for administering the 340B program, would jeopardize eligible hospitals’ ability to care for... read more

Topic: Access and Coverage
Tags: 340B, Drug Pricing Program, drug prices



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