The Medicare Payment Advisory Commission (MedPAC) has recommended to Congress that Medicare payments made to safety net hospitals be cut by 10 percent based on the 340B drug discount program.
The proposal was criticized by the American Society of Health System Pharmacists (ASHP). The organization contends that MedPAC did not take into account the negative impact this decision would have on the patients at the safety net hospitals.
A safety net hospital provides care to low-income, uninsured and vulnerable patients. They are distinguished from regular hospitals by providing care for those with restricted or no access to health care. ASHP is concerned that the cuts in payments will prevent them from being able to provide care to these types of patients.
ASHP represents pharmacists who provide care to patients in many types of medical facilities, including safety net hospitals, regular hospitals, long-term facilities and patients under home care.
MedPAC voted for the proposed recommendation as a way to cut costs for the Medicare program. It is the duty of MedPAC to examine Medicare and provide Congress with strategies and advise on the program.