Changes in the healthcare marketplace are steadily pushing changes for physicians and specialty practices of all kinds. Blaming the 340B drug discount program is both misleading and unproductive.
The federal 340B drug discount program helps hundreds of thousands of needy Americans receive life-saving cancer treatments each year. Unfortunately, there is a lot of misinformation circulating about the growth and purpose of the program, misinformation that is creating an atmosphere of undeserved mistrust and criticism of hospitals that use 340B discounts to help treat the needy.
Here are some facts:
The Henry Ford Health System is grateful to be able to provide care in a national system that allows our hospitals and our doctors to be blind to a patient’s economic circumstances. In 2014, we provided more than $314 million in uncompensated care. Because of 340B and other safety net programs, we are able to continue our founder’s mission to serve everyone, regardless of their ability to pay. Detroit has no public hospitals and only a handful of federally qualified health centers. Thanks in part to 340B savings, we are able to fund 4 oncology clinics and keep them open for all patients in Detroit and surrounding townships.
Changes in the healthcare marketplace are steadily pushing changes for physicians and specialty practices of all kinds. Blaming the 340B drug discount program is both misleading and unproductive. Broad-based payment reform in oncology is desperately needed, regardless of the site where that care is offered.
Robert Chapman, MD, is director of the Josephine Ford Cancer Institute at the Henry Ford Health System.References
1. Morse S. Doctors leaving private practice in droves, joining hospitals, report says. Healthcare Finance website. http://www.healthcarefinancenews.com/news/doctors-leaving-private-practice-droves-joining-hospitals-report-says. Published August 3, 2015. Accessed September 24, 2015.
2. 340B Drug Pricing Program. Health Resources and Services Administration website. http://www.hrsa.gov/opa/. Accessed September 24, 2015.
3. 340B DSH hospitals. 340BHealth website. http://www.340bhealth.org/images/uploads/340BHospitals_May2015Update.png. Accessed September 24, 2015.