The President’s 2020 Budget Keeps 340B Program in the Spotlight

On March 11, 2019, the President delivered his proposed 2020 budget to Congress. While a President’s budget proposal is the beginning of a lengthy budget process, this proposed budget nonetheless keeps the 340B Program in the national focus and delineates the President’s position on desired 340B Program changes.

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CVS Caremark Reverses Planned Payment Cuts to 340B Providers

CVS Caremark has decided not to implement reimbursement reductions which may have had adverse effects on Covered Entities and their retail pharmacies (including contract pharmacies). This decision, coupled with the recent court decision invalidating certain aspects of the proposed Medicare Part B payment reductions for 340B drugs,[1] provides some positive news for these Covered Entities after years of uncertainty over the future of the 340B Program.

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We’re 340Back! Review of Major Developments to the 340B Program

It’s been a roller coaster two years for the 340B Program, and we are now back to review some of the major developments and program changes during this time. On the highest level, despite a flurry of proposed legislative action, the 340B Program remains largely unchanged from where it stood prior to 2017. As covered in more detail below, the notable exception to this is the significant Medicare Part B reimbursement reductions for certain categories of 340B covered entities. Of course, in typical 340B Program “see saw” fashion, the future of these reimbursement reductions remains uncertain after a surprising recent court decision striking down the legality of these reductions for 2018. The 340B Program has also seen changes in the audit process for covered entities, which we discuss below.

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The Omnibus Guidance is Dead!

Prescription Pill Box-700_440The proposed 340B Drug Pricing Program Omnibus Guidance that was issued in August 2015 and promised to turn the 340B world on its head was withdrawn on January 30, 2017.

Not that most covered entities are upset. The proposed 340B Drug Pricing Program Omnibus Guidance proposed a host of changes to the 340B Drug Pricing Program, a law that requires drug manufacturers to provide discounts on “covered outpatient drugs” to “covered entities,” when those “covered entities” provide the drug to “eligible patients.” As we’ve covered in multiple posts, these changes ran the gamut–and most of the time, to the detriment of covered entities. Probably the most significant proposed change was the overhaul of the patient definition, which, among other things, tightened the nexus between a patient, a prescriber, and the covered entity registered site. Continue Reading

Key Takeaway from 340B Conferences – Audits

ChecklistYep. Audits. They are happening. And, chances are, if your covered entity (“CE”) hasn’t experienced one yet, it is coming to you sometime soon. At both 340B University (hosted by Apexus, the prime vendor for the 340B Drug Pricing Program) and the 340B Coalition Conference (hosted by 340B Health) many CEs we interacted with had already experienced the Health Resources and Services Administration (“HRSA”) audit process. Continue Reading

Comparing 340B University and the 340B Coalition Conference

Spoonful_Pills_101337746Maybe it is just us, but we wanted to know whether we would get a different experience at 340B University versus the 340B Coalition Conference.  In some ways, these conferences could not have been more different. But, at the heart of it all, each had the same underlying education of stakeholders so that covered entities (“CEs”) can continue stretching “scarce Federal resources as far as possible, reaching more eligible patients and providing more comprehensive services.”

340B University

The 340B Prime Vendor, Apexus, puts on this educational program. Apexus is the “exclusive contractor” for the 340B Drug Pricing Program (“340B Program”). As the 340B Prime Vendor, Apexus works closely with the Health Resources and Services Administration (“HRSA”) to provide education to providers. Continue Reading

Top Takeaway from 340B University and 340B Coalition Conference

iStock_000022216040_FullThis year we once again had boots on the ground for 340B University and the 340B Winter Coalition Conference for a four-day 340B Drug Pricing Program (340B Program) adventure. 340B University is free of charge and is put on by the 340B Prime Vendor, Apexus. The 340B Coalition Conference, on the other hand, charges a fee and is organized by 340B Health, a membership organization that advocates for covered entities (CEs).

In this post, we disclose the number one lesson from this four-day, 340B Program extravaganza—compliance is hard, and it will only get harder. In the posts to come, we will explore other takeaways. Continue Reading

Site Neutral Payments Put 340B Child Sites in Jeopardy

Just when yOnline Bankingou thought you understood all the threats facing the 340B Drug Pricing Program (“340B Program”), along comes the Bipartisan Budget Act of 2015 (“BBA 2015). BBA 2015 changes the way in which new off-campus hospital outpatient departments (“HOPDs”) will be paid come January 1, 2017. This change could have a substantial impact on 340B Program child site eligibility.

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PhRMA 2-0 in The Orphan Drug Wars

U.S. Federal District Court Judge for the District of Columbia, Rudolph Contreras, ruled Wednesday, October 14, 2015 that manufacturers need not offer 340B discounts for orphan drugs sold to a specified group of covered entities (CEs), regardless of how the orphan drug is used.
Spoonful_Pills_101337746

To make a very long story short, in 2010, the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA) made several changes to the 340B Program.  In part, it added several new CEs (e.g., children’s hospitals and critical access hospitals) and narrowed the categories of drugs to which a specified group of CEs would have access at 340B discount prices by creating the orphan drug exclusion.  This specified group of CEs subject to the orphan drug exclusion include free-standing cancer hospitals, rural referral centers, sole community hospitals, and critical access hospitals.

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Breaking Down the Proposed Omnibus Guidance – Child Sites

It is coming down to the wire – comments are due on the 340B Drug Pricing Program Omnibus Guidance (“Guidance”) in about two weeks!  On October 28, 2015 the comment period will be closed and there will be nothing left to do but sit back and wait.

iStock_000002544704_FullThis post will focus on an aspect of the 340B Program that could undergo significant changes under the proposed Guidance – child sites. What are we talking about here?  Currently and under the proposed Guidance, all offsite outpatient facilities, clinics, eligible offsite location, or associated health care delivery sites (collectively referred to as “offsite facilities”) not located at the same physical address as the “parent” covered entity (“CE”) must be registered in the 340B Program, if the offsite facilities intend to purchase and use 340B drugs for their eligible patients.  Easy enough.  But, as tends to be the case in the 340B Program, the devil lies in the details.

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