Florida Hospitals Caught Abusing 340B Program for Profit

Florida Hospitals Caught Abusing 340B Program for Profit

Corruption isn't just for politics, folks!

Jim McCool
Jim McCool
|
December 3, 2021

Healthcare is always a top concern for voters, but many have overlooked the essential 340B program.  A new study now confirms that Florida hospitals are abusing the 340B program for pure profit.

340B is a program that any medical patient can be eligible for.  The program originally intended to provide hospitals with resources to provide care specifically for uninsured and indigent patient populations.

Three Florida hospitals specifically, Baptist Hospital of Miami, Orlando Health, and St. Joseph's Hospital have been reported for making high-hundred-million-dollar profits and compensating their top executives with annual payments within the millions.

In “Profiting from 340B,” Dr. Wayne Winegarden found that hospitals tend to provide less charity care while still providing these institutions with a very profitable revenue source.  The paper analyzes data provided to the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) by hospitals along with financial data provide by hospitals on their IRS 990 forms for a sample group of 340B hospitals. Among its findings:

  • Hospitals in the CMS database provided 2.03 percent of net patient revenues toward charity care in 2017, compared to 340B hospitals providing a small 1.66 percent.
  • Evaluating each hospital’s net income relative to net revenue, the profitability for 340B hospitals was 37 percent larger compared to the average of all hospitals.

Examining the IRS financial data of a group of 25 340B hospitals in eight demographically and geographically diverse states, Winegarden found:

  • The sample hospitals provided even less charity care and were more profitable relative to both the average hospital and average hospital.
  • Profits at the sample hospitals grew 9.1 percent annually, compared to 2.5 percent growth at hospitals and nursing homes according to federal data.

While many voters wish healthcare could be more affordable, maybe we should be focused on making the field less corrupt.  This 340B incident is sure to make a real impact on Florida healthcare legislation in the neat future.

Jim McCool

Jim McCool

Jim is a Junior at Florida State University studying Political Science and has lived in Florida for 16 years. He has previously been awarded the "Spirit of the American Legion" award and is a lifetime member of the Benjamin Franklin Society of Scholars. Outside of the classroom and writing, he is on the FSU Mock Trial team, and enjoys reading and studying: American history, politics, and comparative religion, while being a full time Patriots fan.

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