Partner Cindy DuPree authored an article entitled, “340B Program Group Purchasing Prohibition – Changes in Patient Status,” for VHA Georgia, Inc.’s Spring 2014 newsletter.

Under the 340B program, disproportionate share hospitals (DSH), children’s hospitals, and free-standing cancer hospitals that are registered on the Office of Pharmacy Affairs (OPA) database as participating in the program, are subject to a Group Purchasing Organization (GPO) prohibition and cannot purchase any outpatient 340B covered drugs through a GPO or a group purchasing arrangement. This prohibition has been part of the program since 1994, but it was not strictly enforced.

However, in February 2013, the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) issued Program Notice 2013-1 – Statutory Prohibition on Group Purchasing Organization Participation.

Then, on May 9, 2014, in a release by the Healthcare Systems Bureau, HRSA again addressed the prohibition and resulting sanction.

Some violations under the GPO prohibition are obvious, such as not tracking GPO utilization or purchasing GPO drugs for use in an employee pharmacy located within the four walls of the hospital. However, other violations are not that apparent. For example, a patient’s change in status may cause a violation if it is not kept updated in the medical record, particularly at the time drugs are dispensed.

HRSA is very serious about compliance with the GPO prohibition and will be focusing audit efforts on this requirement. Violations could result in removal from the 340B Program. Ongoing monitoring is essential, along with regular staff training, to ensure continued participation in the 340B Program.

To read the full article, click here.

For questions regarding 340B and how your healthcare organization can ensure compliance with the GPO prohibition relating to patient status, please contact Cindy DuPree at cdupree@draffin-tucker.com or (404) 220-8494.