• Posts by Constance A. Wilkinson
    Board of Directors / Member of the Firm

    Attorney Connie Wilkinson concentrates her practice on pricing and reimbursement policy, commercial pricing, federal health care and health benefits program issues, and contracting strategies—including health care fraud ...

Blogs
Clock 10 minute read

On August 29, 2023, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) announced the ten (10) Medicare Part D drugs selected for the first round of negotiations of the Medicare Drug Price Negotiation Program (Program)—a few days before the September 1, 2023, statutory deadline imposed by the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA). The negotiated pricing will go into effect in 2026.

In its announcement, CMS included details about upcoming opportunities for public input regarding the Program, including a series of patient-focused listening sessions CMS plans to hold for each ...

Blogs
Clock 11 minute read

On May 11, the U.S.  Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (the “HELP Committee” or the “Committee”) passed a bipartisan bill to expand federal regulation of pharmacy benefit managers (“PBMs”) for group health plans.[1]  As a compromise by Health Sub-Committee Chair Bernie Sanders (I-VT) and ranking Republican Bill Cassidy (LA), the Pharmacy Benefit Manager Act (S. 1339) reflects the overarching legislative push by members from both sides of the aisle and chambers of Congress to address drug pricing issues through federal fixes to the PBM framework . Further, Congress’ efforts build on the momentum from the enactment of the high-profile Medicare prescription drug pricing provisions of the Inflation Reduction Act (the “IRA”) in 2022. [2]

Blogs
Clock 9 minute read

On February 9, 2023, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (“CMS”) issued a fact sheet and its initial guidance documents addressing the Medicare Prescription Drug Inflation Rebate Program for Medicare Parts B and D (the “Inflation Rebates”)—a critical component of the sweeping prescription drug pricing changes enacted through the Inflation Reduction Act of 2022 (the “IRA”). In addition to providing substantial detail regarding CMS’s intended implementation of the Inflation Rebates, the initial program guidance documents (the “Initial Inflation Rebate Guidances” highlight areas where CMS seeks specific feedback. This feedback must be submitted to CMS by March 11, 2023 via email (IRARebateandNegotiation@cms.hhs.gov).

Blogs
Clock 2 minute read

On November 30, 2018, the Department for Health and Human Services (“HHS”) Health Resources and Services Administration (“HRSA”) will publish its final rule to change the effective date for its 340B Drug Pricing Program ceiling price and manufacturer civil monetary penalty final rule to January 1, 2019.

After two years of proposed rulemaking, HHS published a final rule on January 5, 2017 outlining requirements of manufacturers to calculate the 340B ceiling price for a covered outpatient drug and the process by which HRSA can levy civil monetary penalties on drug ...

Blogs
Clock 2 minute read

On October 25, 2018, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) released an advance notice of proposed rulemaking (ANPRM) to solicit feedback on its newly proposed International Pricing Index (IPI) model for Medicare Part B drug reimbursement.  The IPI model will be tested by the CMS Innovation Center as a potential means to dismantle and replace the current buy-and-bill model and advance the Trump Administration’s agenda for drug pricing reform, as described in its May 2018 Blueprint to Lower Drug Prices and Reduce Out-of-Pocket Costs.  The framework of the IPI model is ...

Blogs
Clock 4 minute read

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (“CMS”) issued on April 2, 2018, an advanced copy of the final rule title “Medicare Program; Contract Year 2019 Policy and Technical Changes to the Medicare Advantage, Medicare Cost Plan, Medicare Fee-for-Service, the Medicare Prescription Drug Benefit Programs, and the PACE Program” (“Final Rule”). This Final Rule will be published in the April 16, 2018 issue of the Federal Register.

This Final Rule implements provisions of the proposed rule that CMS released titled “Medicare Program; Contract Year 2019 Policy and ...

Blogs
Clock 7 minute read

Over the past week, the White House administration (the “Administration”) has issued two documents addressing drug pricing. First, on February 9, 2018, the White House’s Council of Economic Advisers released a white paper titled “Reforming Biopharmaceutical Pricing at Home and Abroad” (the “White Paper”).  Second, on February 12, 2018, the Administration issued its 2019 Budget Proposal (“2019 Budget”).

Whereas the recommendations set forth in the White Paper are more conceptual or exploratory, the 2019 Budget purportedly reflects the ...

Blogs
Clock 4 minute read

On November 1, 2017, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Service ("CMS") released the Medicare Hospital Outpatient Prospective Payment System ("OPPS") final rule ("Final Rule"), finalizing a Medicare payment reduction from Average Sales Price ("ASP") + 6% to ASP - 22.5%, for 340B discounted drugs in the hospital outpatient setting, as was proposed in the OPPS proposed rule earlier this year. This payment reduction is effective January 1, 2018, and would primarily impact disproportionate share hospitals, rural referral centers, and non-rural sole community hospitals.

340B ...

Blogs
Clock 8 minute read

On Wednesday, October 14, 2015, the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia (the "Court"), Judge Rudolph Contreras, vacated the Health Resources and Services Administration's ("HRSA") interpretive rule on Orphan Drugs ("the Interpretative Rule") as "arbitrary, capricious, an abuse of discretion, or otherwise not in accordance with law."[1]  As a result of the ruling, pharmaceutical manufacturers are not required to provide 340B discounts to certain types of covered entities for Orphan Drugs, even when the drugs are prescribed for uses other than to treat the rare ...

Blogs
Clock 10 minute read

The Health Resources and Services Administration ("HRSA") issued a notice proposing guidance under the 340B Drug Pricing Program.  The proposed Omnibus Guidance was issued in pre-publication format and is available online at https://s3.amazonaws.com/public-inspection.federalregister.gov/2015-21246.pdf.  The notice is scheduled to be published in the Federal Register on August 28, 2015 and will be available at https://www.federalregister.gov/articles/2015/08/28/2015-21246/guidance-340b-drug-pricing-program-omnibus.

HRSA intends to finalize the proposed ...

Blogs
Clock 3 minute read

By Alan J. Arville, Constance A. Wilkinson and Selena M. Brady

The House of Representatives Energy and Commerce Committee ("the Committee") circulated draft language to include in its 21st Century Cures legislation earlier this week to reform the 340B drug discount program (the "340B Program"). Although the draft 340B language was pulled from the legislation yesterday, the language proposed provides insight into what future legislative reform may include. The draft language, if adopted, would have a substantial impact on all 340B Program stakeholders, including, covered ...

Blogs
Clock 5 minute read

On November 13, 2014, the Health Resources and Services Administration ("HRSA") announced its plans to abandon the much anticipated "mega-reg" amid questions concerning HRSA's rule-making authority.  The "mega-reg" was expected to provide much needed clarity to the 340B drug discount program (the "340B Program") by addressing, among other things, the definition of an eligible patient, compliance requirements for contract pharmacy arrangements, hospital eligibility, and criteria for hospital off-site facilities.

HRSA submitted draft regulations to OMB in April 2014 ...

Blogs
Clock 2 minute read

As Ebola has become a worldwide threat, the U.S. Government has provided guidance to prepare numerous agencies and entities that may become involved or affected by Ebola.  On November 7, 2013, the Office of Personnel Management (OPM) issued guidance to Federal Employee Health Benefit Program (FEHBP) carriers on their responsibilities for handling members who have been exposed to or infected with the Ebola virus. FEHB Program Carrier Letter No. 2014-26 is available at http://www.opm.gov/healthcare-insurance/healthcare/carriers.

OPM instructs carriers that special ...

Blogs
Clock 6 minute read

By Constance Wilkinson, Alan Arville, and Jonathan Hoerner

On July 23, 2014, the Health Resources and Services Administration ("HRSA") issued an "interpretive rule" entitled "Implementation of the Exclusion of Orphan Drugs for Certain Covered Entities under the 340B Program" (the "Interpretive Rule").[1] The Interpretive Rule follows the ruling by the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia on May 23, 2014, that vacated the final rule previously released by HRSA on the treatment of orphan drugs under the 340B program (the "Final Rule").[2]

By way of background, the 340B ...

Blogs
Clock 6 minute read

By Constance Wilkinson, Alan Arville, and David Gibbons

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services ("HHS") Office of Inspector General ("OIG") released a Report [1] on February 5th based on in-depth interviews with a sample of thirty 340B Covered Entities – half were disproportionate share hospitals ("DSH") and half were community health centers ("CH") – and eight contract pharmacy administrators to gain a better understanding of how contract pharmacy arrangements operate under the 340B Drug Discount Program, codified as Section 340B of the Public Health Service Act ...

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