Bass, Berry & Sims attorney Jeff Davis provided insight about recent statements made by the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) that raise questions about when hospitals can start using drugs purchased under the 340B drug pricing program in new outpatient clinics. At the onset of the pandemic, HRSA provided guidance noting that hospitals may use 340B drugs in new provider-based clinics before they appear on a hospital’s Medicare cost report. While issued during the pandemic, the guidance was not expected to expire when the public health emergency was lifted on May 11; however, recent statements by HRSA have raised questions about whether the guidance is no longer in effect.

The stakes are particularly high for health systems looking to open or acquire new outpatient clinics, because having to wait before a hospital can use 340B drugs in a new clinic can lead to hospitals purchasing drugs at much higher prices, Jeff told Axios. He added “Costs could go up if you don’t use 340B drugs; it could increase costs significantly.”

The full article, “Hospitals Unexpectedly Cut Off from Discounted Drugs at Outpatient Clinics,” was published by Axios on June 5 and is available online.