Cancer patient getting treatment , the COA report said that these hospitals are marking up oncology drugs at rates that are “problematic” because they result in much higher costs than drugs in community oncology practices. (Photo: Shutterstock)

A report finding that safety-net hospitals are charging 3.8 times more than the purchase price for oncology drugs has sparked pushback from hospitals, which say the report had too small a sample size and did not accurately reflect costs to consumers.

The initial report, by the nonprofit Community Oncology Alliance (COA), noted that the federal system of reporting requirements is complex and evolving—regulators have proposed and enacted a range of price transparency rules for hospitals in recent years, with data-gathering and compliance still problematic in many cases. And the report acknowledges that these safety-net hospitals (known as 340B hospitals) serve a poorer, less-insured population and face competitive challenges.

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