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Help reform this federal program to close the health care fairness gap | Opinion

To Sanul Corrielus

Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr. once said, “Of all forms of inequality, medical injustice is the most shocking and inhumane.”

As a community-based private practitioner and a board-certified cardiologist, I have devoted my career to improving the medical outcomes of vulnerable communities.

Every day, we see long-term consequences with patients who cannot afford the medical care and medicines they deserve.That’s why we need to reform the poor federal government 340B Drug Pricing Program..

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The program was established with the best intention of helping uninsured, low-income patients receive the care they need and helping hospitals that offer a lot of charity care. Pharmaceutical companies need to provide outpatients to eligible 340B hospitals at significantly discounted prices. However, as the program grows, monitoring is not keeping pace with maintaining the integrity of the program.

Many of these 340B hospitals do not use discounts to provide subsidized care to their patients, and in fact most make huge profits from the program and offer minimal charity care. Is not …

Recent National Survey of 340B Hospitals by Pacific Research Institute (PRI) “Non-profit” 340B hospitals are supposed to provide charity care as well as a 37% increase in profits compared to the average of all hospitals These 340B hospitals are net patients for charity care Provides 22% of income. All hospitals.

Both uninsured and insured patients pay for these 340B hospitals, earn more money and reduce their charity care offerings.

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According to CAO Inspector General’s Office, Over 60% of hospitals did not offer 340B price cuts to uninsured patients. These hospitals charge uninsured patients up to three times the amount they pay for medicines. To make matters worse, even insured patients pay more for prescriptions.

As a physician servicing vulnerable people, I know that these practices only discourage individuals from seeking long-term care.

When used correctly, the 340B program can be an invaluable resource for communities and safety net providers. I saw this directly. A few years ago, I worked to help HIV / AIDS patients get the heart treatment they deserve at a federal-qualified health center. I recently learned that this center is funded by a 340B discount received by the hospital.

This is a question about health fairness. If the 340B program is discontinued due to a villain, the patient, and the community, such as the individual, suffers the most.

Hospitals and pharmaceutical companies counter this in court, leaving the highest-risk patients without the care they need. Congress must act.was there Over 50 invoices have been introduced In Congress to reform the program, but zero has passed.

Reforms that may help the program include regulations on contract pharmacies, increased penalties for 340B violations, stricter reporting requirements, and increased audits at participating hospitals.

For justice in the medical care of low-income, uninsured patients, Congress needs to reform the 340B program and quickly close loopholes.

Dr. Sanul Corrielus is a board-certified cardiologist at the Corrielus Cardiology in Philadelphia. He provides integrated cardiovascular health and wellness education in poorly serviced communities to improve cardiovascular health inequalities and quality of health delivery in poorly serviced communities in the Philadelphia region. He is the founder of the Community Cardiovascular Initiative, a non-profit organization focused on doing.

Help reform this federal program to close the health care fairness gap | Opinion

Source link Help reform this federal program to close the health care fairness gap | Opinion

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