Archived Messages From the President
March 25, 2014
As a 400,000 strong nationwide advocacy organization for older Americans, RetireSafe continues to be vigilant in its work to ensure seniors have access to affordable health care. Today’s release of “Unfulfilled Expectations: An Analysis of Charity Care provided by 340B Hospitals”, developed by Avalere Health and the Alliance for Integrity and Reform of 340B Coalition (AIR 340B), highlights that many hospitals enrolled in the 340B program, established in 1992 to support access to prescription drugs for the vulnerable uninsured, are not fulfilling this goal.
The report finds charity care represents 1% or less of the total cost of providing care to patients at approximately one-quarter of 340B hospitals. RetireSafe believes that hospitals that receive substantial discounts on medications must support the mission of the 340B program and utilize those savings to care for the indigent; it is very disconcerting that so many 340B hospitals are providing such a minuscule amount of charity care. As an organization that has worked to eliminate the misuse of funds in public health care programs, we are concerned that this trend is putting the entire 340B program at risk and can lead to increased costs and access barriers to seniors, especially those living in rural areas.
RetireSafe joins other members of the AIR 340B Coalition in the belief that transparency and accountability is needed to ensure seniors benefit from this well-intentioned program and we are hopeful that this report shines light on the issues and concerns that we have with the program.