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December 11, 2018

Expansion of the Medicare 340B Payment Program: Hospital Participation, Prescribing Patterns and Reimbursement, and Legal Challenges

Author Affiliations
  • 1Center for Health Policy and Outcomes Research Group, Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, New York, New York
  • 2School of Law, Washington University in St Louis, St Louis, Missouri
JAMA. 2018;320(22):2311-2312. doi:10.1001/jama.2018.15667

The 340B program began as a means to lower the cost of outpatient medications for a small set of underresourced health care facilities that served primarily low-income patients, although sequential changes in the program over time have led to substantial growth. Hospitals, many of which are large and well financed, now dominate the facilities that qualify for this program, and this shift has led to controversy over the program’s purpose, effects, and incentives. The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) took recent actions to rein in the program, and these actions are now facing court challenges.