man offering cash Milliman'sanalysis of claims data found that while 340B hospitals on averagepay $1,591 per claim for a brand medicine, on average they getreimbursed $4,673 by a commercial insurer. (Photo: iStock)

Hospitals participating in the federal 340B drug discountpricing program are getting reimbursed by payers three times theamount they initially paid for brand medicines – but there's norequirement for them to demonstrate the additional revenue is goingtoward helping vulnerable people, according to an analysisconducted by Milliman, commissioned by the PharmaceuticalResearch and Manufacturers of America.

The 340B program, created by Congress in 1992, is meant to givedrug discounts to "safety net facilities" and other qualifyinghospitals so uninsured and other vulnerable patients can get accessto prescription medicines at discounted rates, the authors write inthe white paper. While clinics that receive federal grants aretypically required to use revenue from 340B to provide care tovulnerable communities, reinvest any additional resources intoservices for vulnerable patients and meet reporting requirements onuse of 340B revenue, similar requirements do not apply to 340Bhospitals.

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Katie Kuehner-Hebert

Katie Kuehner-Hebert is a freelance writer based in Running Springs, Calif. She has more than three decades of journalism experience, with particular expertise in employee benefits and other human resource topics.