By Soumi Saha, Senior Vice President, Government Affairs, Premier Inc.
Today’s proposed rule can only be described as one step forward and two steps back. While Premier appreciates CMS proposing a one-time lump sum payment to affected providers for 340B-acquired drugs for calendar years 2018-2022, doing so in a budget-neutral manner over 16 years is a clawback in disguise. In comments, Premier noted that hospitals should be held harmless in the development of a remedy, should not be punished for abiding by the rules put forth by CMS between 2018-2022, and no dollars should be clawed back from hospitals via the proposed remedy for 340B-acquired drug payment. Premier looks forward to commenting on and fleshing out ambiguity that exists in statutory language regarding whether retrospective remedies pursuant to a Supreme Court case are required to be implemented in a budget-neutral manner. Expeditiously arriving at a remedy to transparently address past reimbursement shortfalls - while holding hospitals harmless from policy deemed unlawful - is essential to support hospital and patient access to high-quality pharmaceuticals.