OpEd: Rural Hospitals Depend on 340B Drug Pricing Program

August 13, 2015

Mark Dalley, head administrator at Gunnison Valley Hospital (Deseret News, 8/13) commented that most people don’t understand the “‘precarious” position rural health care is in. Although rural health care providers do offer high-quality services, they cannot offer the extent of services that urban providers can. Dalley quoted a statistic from the National Rural Health Association as evidence of this disparity: “25 percent of the country’s population lives in rural areas but only 10 percent of the nation’s doctors live in these areas.” He added that “Gunnison Valley Hospital and other rural facilities like Gunnison are examples of how hospitals can survive using smart management, best practices and efficient utilization of programs like 340B. … The bottom line is this: safety net hospitals like mine rely on 340B for the financial security it provides and in helping us provide to our populations in rural markets access to critical medical services.”