Senator Chuck Schumer is pushing for a federal prescription pricing program to be maintained for rural hospitals after plans were announced that would cut funding.
The cuts are being proposed for the 340B Drug Pricing Program, which assists hospitals in prescribing prescription medication for low-income patients at reduced costs. When the hospitals prescribe the medications, they can file the transaction with the 340B program and will be reimbursed for a portion of the medications.
The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) and Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) recently announced plans to cut those reimbursements by 28.5 percent.
Among the hospitals in western New York are Highland Hospital, Strong Memorial Hospital, Unity Hospital, Clifton Springs Hospital and Clinic, Nicholas H. Noyes Memorial Hospital, and United Memorial Medical Center (UMMC).
“[The cuts] could lead to hospitals being stripped of their ability to provide critical services, and could even lead to the layoff of hospital staff,” Schumer said Friday morning, while standing outside of United Memorial Medical Center in Batavia.
In total, New York State 340B hospitals stand to lose nearly $1.8 billion because of the cuts over the next decade.