COLUMBUS – State Representatives Susan Manchester (R-Waynesfield) and Randi Clites (D-Ravenna), in conjunction with Senator Bob Hackett (R-London), recently introduced bipartisan legislation to protect safety net providers in the 340B program from discriminatory contracting by Pharmacy Benefit Managers (PBMs). House Bill 482 prohibits imposing additional fees or reducing reimbursements to Ohio 340B providers just because of their 340B status. It also prevents health insurance plans from carving out 340B providers.
Under the federal 340B Drug Pricing Program, certain safety net providers access prescription drugs at reduced prices and are mandated to pass that savings to their patients, helping low-income, uninsured and underinsured patients access care they would not receive otherwise. However, PBMs in Ohio and other states are targeting 340B providers with discriminatory contracts that absorb all or part of the 340B savings by reducing reimbursements or adding fees.
“Our legislation protects providers like Community Health Centers who rely on their 340B savings to provide access to affordable and comprehensive care,” Rep. Manchester said. “We cannot allow PBMs to continue discriminating against them just because of their status as a 340B provider.”
Establishments use the 340B reimbursements on services that support their mission of providing access to care for the underserved. The ability to reinvest savings to support or expand primary care services increases patients’ access to the care they need, when they need it and in the appropriate, most cost-effective setting.
“We cannot let PBMs or insurance companies divert money meant to help underserved patients access health services,” said Rep. Clites. “Many 340B providers use the program to fund services like dental, substance abuse treatment, or extended weekend hours. It is unacceptable to target the programs that the poorest Ohioans rely on.”