AHA seeks meeting with HHS on 340B repayments

The American Hospital Association sent a letter to HHS on Feb. 1 requesting a meeting in a "sincere attempt to accelerate the regulatory process" of 340B repayments after years of wading through litigation. 

In June, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in AHA's favor and said HHS did not have the authority to make a $1.6 billion annual reimbursement cut. HHS said it would restore those cuts in 2023, but about three months later, a federal judge said the response must happen "immediately." HHS then said it would take two weeks. 

In late October, CMS said it would pay 340B hospitals an average sales price plus 6 percent rather than average sales price minus 22.5 percent. Updates were scarce for a few months until mid-January, when a district court returned the 340B funding case back and said HHS could decide on its repayment plans. 

Since the June 2022 ruling, "there has been little progress in repaying 340B hospitals what they are owed," AHA said in the Feb. 1 letter. "Just as the AHA feared in our June letter, this issue quickly became 'bogged down in needless litigation.'"

"Rather than affirmatively proposing a mechanism for repaying hospitals, HHS repeatedly argued for a remand to the Department –– the result of which will be more than a year of delay between the Supreme Court's decision and any expected repayment," AHA said. "While the AHA appreciates that HHS recently suggested in its Unified Plan that it will propose a remedy by April 2023 and represented to the district court that it 'intends' to finalize that remedy 'before the 2024 [outpatient prospective payment system] rulemaking cycle is complete,' even this timeframe unnecessarily deprives 340B hospitals of funding at a time when they desperately need it to best serve their vulnerable patients and communities."

By requesting a meeting with HHS, AHA said it seeks to avoid further legal challenges. 

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