It was a pleasure to join over 1,900 stakeholders in a surprisingly chilly San Diego for the 16th Annual 340B Coalition Winter Conference. As usual, the content and networking opportunities were great. Here are four key takeaways from the event:
Considering that the new rules were slated to go into effect in just three months, Kentucky covered entities quickly jumped into action and fortunately prevented some of the most harmful ideas. Nonetheless, 340B stakeholders are back at work trying to prevent or amend a state Senate bill that they say would require 340B pharmacies to determine at the point of sale whether a prescription for a Medicaid patient is 340B-eligible, rather than utilizing the more workable retrospective approach.
While the preemption argument has apparently not been raised in the other states that have enacted anti-discrimination laws, it looks like 340B providers will need to seek a federal remedy. First, the Supreme Court case is limited to the question of ERISA preemption. Even if the court sides with Arkansas and upholds that they can regulate PBM payment rates, payors can still argue that they are exempt due to federal Medicare laws. In addition, a federal law would be preferable to a patchwork quilt of state laws, according to Powers Law attorney Stephen Kuperberg. While it will be tough to pass a bill through Congress during an election year, 340B providers may need to redouble their efforts in Washington, D.C.to gain protection from this growing threat.
Check Out 340B Report
One final note: I am very excited to announce the launch of 340B Report, the first and only independent news service covering all things 340B. The 340B Report team has a combined six decades of experience with the 340B program and in journalism. I encourage you to sign up and let others know about it! The news service is free for a limited time and then will require a subscription. 340B Report has also just published a special report on the 340B Coalition conference that provides detailed coverage of the event. Feel free to contact me at [email protected] to let me know what you think.
Time to Step Up Your Efforts at the State Level – January 2020
Pro-340B Group Gains Momentum with Grassroots Tactics – December 2019
More States Embrace 340B Program as a Win-Win for Taxpayers, Patients and the General Public – November 2019
AIR340B Quietly Steps Up Advocacy Efforts – October 2019
Recent 340B Developments of Interest – September 2019