A proposal that would have required 340B hospitals to file reports with the Office of the Commissioner of Insurance was among the list of items removed from further consideration in the state budget, announced in a memo released by the Joint Finance Committee (JFC) co-chairs on May 1. WHA had been communicating with the Evers administration and JFC co-chairs since Governor Evers’ budget was introduced to request its removal.
The proposal was included in the budget introduced by Governor Evers at the end of February and would have required 340B hospitals to file reports with the Office of the Commissioner of Insurance on:
- The per-unit margin for each drug covered under the 340B program;
- The total margin for all 340B drugs; and,
- How hospitals use revenues under the 340B program.
The 340B prescription drug program requires pharmaceutical manufacturers participating in Medicaid to sell outpatient drugs at discounted prices to not-forprofit and government-related health care organizations that care for many uninsured and low-income patients. To qualify, hospitals must serve a disproportionate share of Medicaid patients. Wisconsin hospitals and WHA have been communicating the value of the 340B program for years at the federal level to show policymakers how it helps hospitals offset losses from Medicare and Medicaid and stretch scarce federal resources, just as it was intended to do when Congress created it. Last year alone, Medicare and Medicaid paid a combined $3.2 million less than what it cost hospitals to provide care for Medicare and Medicaid patients.
The proposed state mandate would have been burdensome for hospitals to comply with due to the complex nature of the 340B program and the specific ways in which hospitals would have been required to report this information. WHA relayed these concerns to Governor Evers’ office and the JFC co-chairs and requested they remove it as a non-fiscal policy item. While WHA will be keeping a close watch on the budget process as it continues, this action makes it very unlikely that this 340B provision will be considered any further in the state budget.
Contact WHA Senior Vice President of Government Relations Kyle O’Brien or Director of Federal and State Relations Jon Hoelter for more information.