Powers Principal William von Oehsen was quoted in a BNA article discussing the Trump administration’s proposed budget for 2019 and how those proposals could impact the 340B community.

In the budget request, President Trump proposed to redistribute Medicare Part B payments to hospitals based on their charity care levels, along with requiring covered entities to report on how they use 340B savings.

The budget also proposed a user fee on the drug purchases by hospitals and other covered entities to help fund the Department of Health and Human Services’ administration of the 340B program. User fees for 2019 would total $16 million, according to the article.

Bill von Oehsen discusses the user fee proposal, explaining that covered entities are generally open to a user fee proposal “as long as the fees are used for program oversight of not just covered entities but also manufacturers.” He added that there is a debate over how the fees should be collected.

Additionally, Bill discussed the language tying Medicare reimbursement to charity care levels. He said it “reflects a misunderstanding of how safety net providers serve their communities” and that it is not an indication of a hospital’s safety net status.

Bill explained that a more accurate indicator includes three metrics:

  •  Utilization of hospital services by Medicaid and low-income Medicare patients,
  •  The level of uncompensated care provided by the hospital, and
  • The unique public health and specialized services provided by the hospital within its service area.

Bill has more than 25 years of experience on pharmaceutical pricing and reimbursement matters, including the 340B drug discount program, the Medicaid drug rebate program, Medicare Part D, Robinson-Patman, and state Medicaid and pharmacy laws. He played a key role in helping to enact the 340B program in 1992, as well as to expand the law in 2010 under the Affordable Care Act.

Bill helped establish and serves as outside counsel to 340B Health, an advocacy organization of more than 1,200 public and private nonprofit hospitals participating in the 340B program. In 1997, he helped organize the 340B Coalition, which now represents a dozen national organizations whose members comprise virtually all of the safety net providers participating in the 340B program.

For more information regarding these articles, the 340B program or drug pricing, contact Bill von Oehsen at 202-872-6765 or William.vonOehsen@powerslaw.com.

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