340B Health

340B Insight Podcast

Episode Ten: A Guide to 340B Research

September 29, 2020

Subscribe to
340B Insight!

In this episode, we speak with Caroline Steinberg, Vice President of Research and Policy Analytics at 340B Health, about research into the 340B program, its importance to policymakers, and how covered entities can conduct their own research projects. Before the interview, our news segment covers the latest updates on proposed Medicare cuts to 340B hospitals and 340B Health’s Virtual Hill Day last week. (Transcript)

This Episode is Sponsored By

Show Notes

In this episode, we speak with Caroline Steinberg, Vice President of Research and Policy Analytics at 340B Health, about research into the 340B program. For more information about 340B Health’s research, you can review the research page on our website. Before the interview, our news segment covers the latest updates on proposed Medicare cuts to 340B hospitals and 340B Health’s Virtual Hill Day last week.

The Role of Research: Research is vital for educating policymakers about the 340B program to help ensure continuing support for the program. Research also helps demonstrate that the program is vital for safety-net institutions. For example, one study revealed that 60% of uncompensated care is provided by 340B hospitals, even though 340B hospitals are only about 40% of all hospitals. Verifiable data helps combat misinformation the policymakers hear from opponents of the program.

Research Demonstrates 340B’s Importance to Medicaid: The most recent 340B Health research study found that 75% of all hospital care provided to Medicaid patients is provided by 340B hospitals. Partly because of serving a high percentage of Medicaid patients, 340B hospitals have negative margins on average.

340B Hospital Surveys Are Key: 340B Health’s surveys of member hospitals are critical for gauging the impact of policy changes and sharing that information with policymakers. For example, as policymakers continue to discuss drug manufacturer efforts to cut back on providing discounts when drugs are dispensed at contract pharmacies, 340B Health has found that 57% of 340B savings for critical access hospitals come from community pharmacy relationships.

Outside Studies Support 340B’s Value: A recent Medicare Payment Advisory Commission report concluded there was no consistent pattern of higher or lower drug spending between 340B hospitals compared to non-340B hospitals. MedPAC also found that 340B hospitals provide more services to low-income patients, disabled Medicare beneficiaries, and younger patients and that these patient characteristics tend to be linked to higher spending on cancer treatment. Caroline says the research demonstrates that drug company price increases, especially on new drugs, drove prices higher, not the 340B program.

Meanwhile, a new study published this month in the Journal of the American Medical Association authored by an independent policy researcher found that drugs with a higher proportion of sales through the 340B program had a lower rate of price increases.

340B Hospitals Should Conduct Their Own Research: Caroline shares that 340B hospitals have opportunities to conduct their own research. To start a research project, 340B hospitals should determine how 340B savings fund specific programs and then see if they already have data available to gauge the impact of these programs. 340B Health also has launched a grant program to help hospitals conduct their own research.

Check out all of our episodes on the 340B Insight podcast website. You also can stay updated on all 340B Health news and information by visiting our homepage. If you have any questions you’d like us to cover in this podcast, email us at podcast@340bhealth.org.

Episode Resources:

1. Association Between the Percentage of US Drug Sales Subject to Inflation Penalties and the Extent of Drug Price Increases

2. 340B Health Templates for Commenting on Proposed 2021 CMS Medicare Cuts

3. 340B Health Compilation Research Brief

4. MedPAC Report to Congress on 340B

5. 340B Health Webinar: Update on Manufacturer Developments