340B hospitals saw greater per-patient drug spend than counterparts, study finds

Hospitals that recently enrolled in the 340B drug pricing program saw greater increases in per-patient drug spend compared to non-340B hospitals, according to a Berkeley Research Group study funded by the Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America, a drug lobby.

Using Medicare fee-for-service hospital outpatient claims and U.S. Health Resources and Services Administration Office of Pharmacy Affairs data, researchers examined 379 disproportionate share hospitals enrolling in the 340B program between January 2009 and January 2016. They also compared spending changes at 340B hospitals to a control group of non-340B hospitals.

Data showed that on average, patients at newly enrolled 340B hospitals saw their drug spend increase by 32.4 percent in the 12 months following the hospital's enrollment. That compares to the control group, which saw per-patient drug spend climb 13.4 percent during the same period.

Additionally, newly enrolled 340B hospitals saw drug spend per-patient, per-date-of-service jump 20.6 percent in their first year of enrollment compared to the year before. By comparison, the control group saw a decrease of 4.7 percent.

Researchers noted that not all newly enrolled 340B hospitals saw per-patient drug spend increase at a faster rate compared to non-340B hospitals, but many of the studied entities did see faster growth.

Data showed that 63 percent of enrolling 340B hospitals saw a growth rate at least 2 percentage points higher than non-340B hospitals.

"The results of this analysis suggest a behavior change in the prescribing of physician-administered drugs after a hospital enrolls in the 340B program," the study's authors concluded.

Access the full study here.


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