Rural Hospitals? Drug Discounts at Risk

December 29, 2015

Alan Morgan, CEO of the National Rural Health Association (Eatonville Dispatch, 12/29) commented on the struggles faced by rural hospitals. Since 2010, 58 rural hospitals have closed; Morgan believes many more will close as well if the 340B Drug Discount Program is dismantled. Patients at these hospitals “tend to be older, sicker, and poorer than their urban counterparts” and need medications that are rising in price. A third of rural hospitals operate at a loss and “69 percent have a negative operating profit margin. For many such hospitals, 340B savings makes the difference between continuing to serve the community and closing their doors forever.”