February 21, 2017—Members of Congress have reintroduced legislation to make more school-based health centers eligible for 340B drug discounts. [ms-protect-content id=”2799″]
The Hallways to Health Act (S. 356 and H.R. 1027) would add “school-based health center” to the 16 other covered entity types listed in the 340B statute. Critical access hospitals, sole community hospitals, and rural referral centers were the last types added, in 2010.
Sens. Debbie Stabenow (D-Mich.), Gary Peters (D-Mich.), Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio), and Al Franken (D-Minn.) are sponsoring the Senate bill and Reps. John Sarbanes (D-Md.), Debbie Dingell (D-Mich.), Eric Swalwell (D-Calif.), Rosa Delauro (D-Conn.), and John Larson (D-Conn.) are sponsoring the House version. Sens. Stabenow and Peters and Rep. Sarbanes were the chief sponsors of identical legislation last year.
According to the School-Based Health Alliance, around 40 percent of the nation’s 2,300 school-based health centers currently are eligible for 340B because they are sponsored by a federally qualified health center or FQHC look-alike. Roughly 20 percent are sponsored by hospitals, including 340B participants such as Detroit’s Henry Ford Health System and Cleveland’s MetroHealth system. The bill would make all school-based health centers 340B-eligible regardless of sponsorship.
In addition to making more school-based health centers eligible for 340B, the bill would provide grants for centers that partner with community healthcare workers who can coordinate care and services in the community for families. The legislation would also create a demonstration project to provide telehealth services at centers and expand existing telehealth services in medically underserved areas. Finally, the bill would ensure school-based health centers can be reimbursed for covered services under Medicaid and the Children’s Health Insurance Program at the same level as services provided in a physician’s office or outpatient clinic. [/ms-protect-content]