WASHINGTON – Today, U.S. Senator Bill Cassidy (R-LA), ranking member of the Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions (HELP) Committee, requested information from two of the largest community health center (CHC) systems as part of his ongoing investigation into how health care providers use revenue generated from the 340B Drug Pricing Program.
According to Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA), CHCs account for the second largest category of 340B Program spending in 2022, or $2.8 billion. Sun River Health and Yakima Valley Farm Workers Clinic, both 340B program recipients, represent two of the ten largest federally qualified health centers in the United States by total compensation.
Cassidy requested information from these health centers as to how they use profit generated from the 340B program, and how much that profit results in direct savings for the patient.
“The 340B Program is regularly reviewed by the Government Accountability Office (GAO) and the Department of Health and Human Service Office of the Inspector General (OIG), both of which have highlighted issues with the program’s integrity,” wrote Dr. Cassidy. “Specifically, in June 2018, GAO reported that not all covered entities share the benefits of discounted drug costs with their patients and determined that nearly half of the covered entities it reviewed failed to extend discounts to patients accessing medications at their contract pharmacies.”
“Congress intended for CHCs to increase access to affordable prescription drugs for low-income and uninsured patients. However, federal law imposes few requirements with respect to how covered entities may use the revenue they generate from the 340B Program,” continued Dr. Cassidy. “Therefore, to better understand how [Sun River Health/ Yakima Valley Farm Workers Clinic] participates in the 340B Program and serves low-income and uninsured patients, I ask you to please respond to the following questions on a question-by-question basis, no later than December 7, 2023.”