Publication Date: 
Tuesday, May 31, 2022

Section 340B of the Public Health Service Act requires that pharmaceutical manufacturers give discounts on specified outpatient drugs to certain covered entities, including hospitals and clinics, who treat low-income or otherwise underserved patients.

In theory, when hospitals pay less for covered drugs, they may pass those price reductions onto patients who might otherwise not be able to afford treatment at full price. But there are few measures built into the program to assure that 340B program funds are being used to support care for low-income populations.

One method to gain insight into the type of financial support provided for low-income patients is to examine financial assistance aimed at low-income patients and related debt collection policies at hospitals participating in the 340B program.

This research collected Financial Assistance Policies (FAPs) and related debt collection policies from a representative sample of 75 340B hospitals. The first 51 hospitals in this sample were the largest 340B hospitals by revenue in the 50 states and the District of Columbia for the 2017-2018 or 2018-2019 fiscal years. The remaining 24 hospitals were the next largest 340B hospitals by revenue in the nation.