Tags: forbes | hospitals | discounted | medicine | obamacare

Steve Forbes: Hospitals Allowed to Make Fortune Off Discounted Meds

Steve Forbes: Hospitals Allowed to Make Fortune Off Discounted Meds
(AP)

By    |   Tuesday, 28 November 2017 01:49 PM

As if there aren't enough reasons to kill Obamacare, here's another — hospitals are allowed to take advantage of a Medicare program that turns discounts on medicines into huge profits, Steve Forbes wrote in a column for Fox News.

Through the Medicare 340B program, hospitals reap the benefits of discounted meds, intended for low-income patients, without having to treat low-income patients or even being forced to pass through those discounts if they do, Forbes writes.

The spirit of the 340B program was aimed at small clinics and physician offices, which then got scooped up and bought by hospitals and voila — a nice new rich revenue stream, Forbes writes.

"Not only does this mean that consumers face fewer choices due to this consolidation, care administered by hospitals is in many cases much more expensive than that administered in a doctor’s office," Forbes wrote for Fox.

"Not only do patients fail to receive the discounts that hospitals do, they also face a price increase for the same treatment."

Forbes writes that as of 2013, 10,000 entities were participating in 340B.

"This consolidation of medical services at the expense of patients shockingly underscores what government intrusion ultimately means for healthcare — less access, fewer choices and increased costs for patients, and taxpayers," Forbes wrote.

Help is on the way though, Forbes writes; the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) announced it would be "reducing some Medicare reimbursement rates for drugs administered by 340B hospitals to help curb abuse of the program."

That's a good start, Forbes writes.

"In a clear indication that they’re on the right track to canceling the blank check hospitals have been exploiting, several hospital associations immediately threatened to sue CMS over the change. Let them do so and they will then have to defend their indefensible practices in full view of the public," Forbes wrote.

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As if there aren't enough reasons to kill Obamacare, here's another - hospitals are allowed to take advantage of a Medicare program that turns discounts on medicines into huge profits, Steve Forbes wrote in a column for Fox News.
forbes, hospitals, discounted, medicine, obamacare
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2017-49-28
Tuesday, 28 November 2017 01:49 PM
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