Jefferson Healthcare and many other rural hospitals, take advantage of a Federal program called 340B.
As the article states:
This little-known federal program was created to help uninsured or vulnerable patients get access valuable medications regardless of their abilities to pay. This was done by providing certain participating hospitals or safety net clinics with discounted medicines. The 340B program has become an extremely important program for patients in need in this era of unaffordable and unsustainable drug prices.
The article lays out the problems with the 340B program and how some hospitals are abusing it to help themselves remain profitable.
While the point of sharing this article is not to infer that Jefferson Healthcare is in any way one of the ‘bad actors’ in the 340B debate, this article gives the average person a very good quick overview of the controversy. The battle over 340B is playing out in Congress, and it’s outcome will affect JHC. JHC does a great deal charity care, including use of 340B funds, and the program to offer charity care has been recently reformatted to allow people who do not have the means to afford to get needed care. (More on that can be found at the JHC website, JHC Charity Care overview )
I will be looking into the local ramifications of this issue in upcoming months, and should have a more comprehensive overview on them later.
But for now. Here’s a good quote:
For too many hospitals, the 340B program has become a road to profits, not a safety net and not a way to expand charity care for uninsured, indigent patients. For too many patients, particularly those with cancer, the 340B program has not reduced their cost of care 1 cent.
Read the whole opinion piece here:
There have been questions raised here in Jefferson County about the issues that are covered in this article. A good example is the following statement:
A study in the journal Health Services Research examined the impact of the 340B program on the cost of cancer care. It found that hospital participation in the program is associated with a shift of patients’ care from more affordable physician offices to more expensive hospital outpatient care centers, contributing to market-wide increases in per-patient spending.
Here’s the current list of some of the healthcare related bills signed into law recently by Governor Inslee. Use the Bill Tracker web page at the state to see the details on any of them. My take is that it was a very successful session for healthcare related needs.
- Relating to priority processing for adult family home license applications. (6113)
- Relating to requiring coverage for hearing instruments under public employee and medicaid programs.(5179)
- Relating to human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) testing.(6580)
- Relating to ensuring that no youth is discharged from a public system of care into homelessness.(6560)
- Relating to expanding the access to baby and child dentistry program to serve children with disabilities. (6549)
- Relating to promoting access to the Washington early childhood education and assistance program.(6419)
- Relating to child support, but only including a parent’s obligation to provide medical support, use of electronic funds transfers, notice of noncompliance, adoption of the economic table recommended by the child support work group, and references to the federal poverty level in self-support reserve limitations.(6334)
- Relating to preventing suicide by permitting the voluntary waiver of firearm rights.(5553)
- Relating to the mental health field response teams program. (2892)
- Relating to making technical corrections to the family and medical leave program and making no substantive changes.(2702)
- Relating to defining best practices for the process and people involved in best interest determination of students in out-of-home care.(2684)
- Relating to the use of perfluorinated chemicals in food packaging.(2658)
- Relating to increasing the personal needs allowance for people in residential and institutional care settings. (2651)
- Relating to authorizations of proposals for emergency medical care and service levies. (2627)
- Relating to public hospital district health and wellness promotion activities and superintendent appointment and removal.
- Relating to maximum penalties under the Washington industrial safety and health act.
- Relating to providing women with timely information regarding their breast health.
- Relating to improving access to reproductive health.
- Relating to insurance coverage of tomosynthesis or three-dimensional
- Relating to providing a business and occupation tax exemption for accountable communities of health. mammography.
- and many more…
From the Puget Sound Advocates for Retirement Action
Are you planning to go to Senior Lobby Day in Olympia, Thursday, February 22? If you haven’t made your reservation yet, please RSVP immediately.
or call the PSARA office, 206-448-9646. If you need a ride or you can provide rides, please let us know.
Senior Lobby Day is our chance to speak with our elected representatives in Olympia about PSARA’s legislative goals. With Democrats now in control of both chambers of the legislature, this will be our best chance in years to promote PSARA’s progressive agenda.
The day will start at 8:00 a.m. with a continental breakfast at United Churches of Olympia, 110 11th Avenue SE, Olympia. A box lunch will also be provided at 11:30 a.m. Speakers, including PSARA lobbyist Pam Crone, will discuss legislative issues.
All PSARA members are also invited to meet with State House Speaker Frank Chopp at 1:30 p.m.
This event is FREE for all PSARA members.
Our elected officials need to hear your stories! RSVP for Senior Lobby Day today.
Insufficient Medicaid reimbursals are helping sink rural hospitals. One of the hospitals this is meant to help is in Grays Harbor, another in Port Angeles. Senator Van de Wege put it forward with hours just hours before the cutoff. It’s Senate Bill 6601.
OLYMPIA — A bill that would provide temporary funding to ease a financial crisis at Grays Harbor Community Hospital and two other financially struggling hospitals in the state was introduced Tuesday, just hours ahead of the bill cutoff for financial measures.
The Jefferson County Democrats sent this handy overview out. Hearings are underway for bills already introduced, comment periods are open, and things are moving very quickly.
The legislature’s site for tracking all bills is here: Bill Information
How you can watch and participate in the legislative process from the comfort of your home. A list of bills being considered by the state legislature was matched up with a Washington State Democratic priorities agenda. It isn’t comprehensive nor does it include all of many important bills being considered but it is a covers a lot (over 80 bills) that are important to Democrats on most issues. The dates and time of bill hearings is generally known a few days in advance only.
The schedule is updated weekly and even daily. You can go here
2018 Bill Hearing Schedule
to find next weeks hearing schedules. That document is always being updated you can keep referring to it for updates.
What you will see, for example:
would allow county PUDs to provide end user telecommunications
When: 1/17 8:00
Click on Senate Bill 6034 to learn more about the bill. Click on “Comment here” to leave a comment for the committee in charge of the bill. “When” is the time the committee has scheduled a hearing on the bill. To watch any hearing on TVW, click on the bill, scroll down to available videos and watch live or later. So bookmark weekly 2018 bill hearings schedule or find it on the website.
Some important bills:
HB 1026 – Health Security Trust. – Appears dead. Not yet out of committee. No hearings scheduled as of 1/26
SB 5701 – Apple Care Trust. – Appears dead. Not yet out of committee. Had hearing on 1/16.
HB 1800 – Voting Rights Act (re-introduced)
SB 6601 – Temporary Medicaid funding to help Grays Harbor and Port Angeles Community Hospitals bridge the fact that the Feds have chosen not to properly reimburse for Medicaid coverage. Hospitals losing money with every patient, and as the old joke goes, “you can’t make it up on volume”.
Here’s a very useful listing of the pre-filed bills for the 2018 session. Sort by various options. Ones with both House and Senate companion bills are most likely to pass or be seriously considered. Any others will need to find companion bills or they will die.