Rural Hospital Participation in the 340B Drug Discount Program

A project of the Rural Health Research and Policy Center

The 340B drug pricing program enables certain types of safety net organizations to obtain deeply discounted medications, at prices below the "best price" typically offered to Medicaid agencies. The 2003 Medicare Modernization Act revised eligibility criteria, thereby allowing many rural hospitals to participate. 

This study, conducted for the Federal Office of Rural Health Policy by the NORC Walsh Center and North Carolina Rural Health Research and Policy Analysis Center, relied on two surveys:  one of pharmacy directors at rural hospitals currently buying discounted outpatient drugs through the 340B program and the other of pharmacy directors at rural hospitals eligible but not yet participating in the program.  The purpose of this study was to understand the perspectives of pharmacy directors at participating and nonparticipating hospitals to understand their reasons for participation or non-participation, the challenges faced, the financial impact of the program, and which specific program features present barriers to its broader implementation.

This project was conducted as part of the Rural Health Research and Policy Center.