340B hospitals provided $26B+ in uncompensated, unreimbursed care: 3 study findings

Hospitals and health systems that participate in the 340B Drug Pricing Program play a crucial role in serving uninsured, Medicaid, Medicare, low-income and other indigent patients, according to a new study.

The study was prepared by health policy research firm L&M Policy Research and commissioned by 340B Health, a lobby group representing 340B healthcare organizations. For the study, researchers examined Medicare data from fiscal year 2015 for 955 hospitals enrolled in 340B and 1,505 non-340B acute care hospitals.

Here are three findings.

1. 340B hospitals treated significantly more low-income patients than their non-340B counterparts in fiscal year 2015, according to the study. Low-income patients make up nearly half (42 percent) of 340B hospitals' patient load compared to 27 percent for non-340B hospitals.

2. 340B hospitals also provided more care without getting paid. The study found 340B hospitals provided more than $26 billion in uncompensated and unreimbursed care. The figure represents 60 percent of such care delivered nationwide and compares to $17 billion provided by non-340B hospitals.

3. Additionally, the study found 340B hospitals provided more outpatient alcohol/drug abuse treatment (24 percent compared to 12 percent), trauma care (51 percent compared to 31 percent) and HIV/AIDS services (43 percent compared to 24 percent) than their counterparts that don't participate in 340B.

Editor's note: The headline for this story was updated on March 14.

 

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