Congress Passes Omnibus Spending Bill with 340B DSH Protection, Telehealth Provisions
Today, Congress passed a $1.5 trillion omnibus spending bill protecting Disproportionate Share Hospitals' (DSH) eligibility for the 340B Drug Pricing Program. The omnibus bill also included provisions extending telehealth flexibilities and providing funding for substance abuse and mental health services. The legislation is now awaiting the president’s signature.
ASHP advocated for the 340B eligibility protection for DSH hospitals. Under the new law, hospitals that met DSH requirements for 340B program eligibility as of March 2020 will retain that 340B eligibility until Dec. 31, 2022, regardless of changes in their DSH percentage due to the COVID-19 public health emergency.
The provision will take effect when the law is signed, meaning that it will immediately protect hospitals on the brink of losing 340B eligibility due to DSH changes. The bill also restores eligibility for hospitals that have already lost it. To receive the temporary eligibility protection, hospitals must attest to the Department of Health and Human Services how COVID-19 impacted their DSH share.
“We applaud Congress for protecting hospitals facing the loss of access to the 340B Drug Pricing Program through no fault of their own,” said Tom Kraus, ASHP vice president of government relations. “With all the challenges hospitals have faced during the pandemic, it’s imperative that we do all we can to safeguard 340B and other programs that support and benefit patients.”