Ted Okon on 340B Hospitals Reporting on Prices for Services and Drugs

SAP Partners | <b>Community Oncology Alliance (COA)</b>

Despite the Hospital Transparency Rule being in effect, the majority of 340B hospitals are not reporting their prices for top services and drugs, and those that have, reported on “egregious” markups, said Ted Okon, MBA, executive director, Community Oncology Alliance.

Despite the Hospital Transparency Rule being in effect, the majority of 340B hospitals are not reporting their prices for top services and drugs, and those that have, reported on “egregious” markups, said Ted Okon, MBA, executive director, Community Oncology Alliance (COA).

Transcript

The Hospital Transparency Rule has been in effect for over a year now, and COA has pointed out the widespread failure of many 340B hospitals to follow this rule. Where do you go from here?

HHS requires that hospitals disclose, in an easy manner, basically, their prices on top services and drugs. And last year, when [COA] had [Dr] Ronny Gal's Moto [Bio]advisors look at this, we found that of the over 1000 340B hospitals, only 11% were reporting their data. What that showed, though, with that 11% is they're marking up drugs 3.8 times. Not 3.8%, 3.8 times. And that's just egregious, especially when they have these 340B discounts.

So, the end result of that is that we now see more hospitals reporting; we're actually doing a 2.0 version of that report from last year. But you still don't have a lot of the top 340B hospitals that report. Why? Because they make so much money on these drugs and they mark them up, they don't want to show that. And the interesting thing is just recently, we've seen HHS hand out the first 2 fines to 2 Atlanta hospitals that basically have not reported. I think you'll see more pressure on HHS to hand out those fines, but frankly, if a hospital is making $350 million, $400 million a year, which some of the top hospitals are in 340B discounts, getting a fine of $2 million, $3 million a year is the price of doing business.

But this hospital transparency data is really waking a lot of people up as to how much money these hospitals are making on 340B and not literally passing the discounts on to patients, or using that to advance charity care. In many cases, their charity care has gone as their profits from 340B have gone up.