Providers that were kicked out of the 340B Drug Pricing Program during the pandemic will be able to apply for reinstatement, the Biden administration said Friday in a notice to providers.
Disproportionate Share Hospitals, sole community hospitals, rural referral centers, children's hospitals and free-standing cancer hospitals that were terminated from the program after Jan. 26, 2020, due to a change in patient mix, can apply to be reinstated.
Providers must prove that the share of Medicare or Medicaid patients they treated decreased as a result of the public health emergency or the pandemic.
The 340B program allows hospitals and providers serving large numbers of low-income Medicare and Medicaid patients to access large discounts on prescription drugs. Providers say those savings are then channeled back into their communities or they'll offset the cost of providing care to people without insurance.
About 70 providers lost eligibility during the pandemic, according to an analysis of HRSA data completed by Strategic Health Care, a consulting firm.
Providers that have already lost eligibility must apply to be reinstated by April 14. Providers that lose 340B eligibility between Friday and Dec. 31 will have 30 days from the point of their termination to reapply.
However, providers that receive approval from the Health Resources and Services Administration to reenter the program will not receive retroactive payments but will acquire the discounts going forward.
HRSA's announcement was a result of the $1.5 trillion spending package Congress passed last week. The American Hospital Association, along with other groups, made a big push for the package to allow 340B providers to reenter the program.