Michael French Quoted in Bloomberg Law Article on GAO Study on 340B Hospitals
Quarles & Brady attorney Michael French, a member of the firm's Health & Life Sciences Practice Group in Chicago, was featured in a Bloomberg Law article that discusses the Government Accountability Office (GAO) study on 340B hospitals that received certain eligibility exceptions during the COVID-19 pandemic and potential legislation that may come from the study.
The House Energy and Commerce Committee asked the GAO to review the process used by the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) for offering eligibility exception to hospitals due to Covid-19. In previous reports dating back to 2011, the GAO has made 20 recommendations to improve oversight over the 340B Program. HRSA has only implemented five of the suggestions, in part because it said it has limited regulatory authority.
In an excerpt from the article, French explains HRSA's position:
“What HRSA is and has been asking for a while is formal legislation that provides more solid oversight and enforcement authority over their own rules which, as of now, they don’t necessarily have,” said Michael French, an attorney at Quarles & Brady LLP who represents providers.
Bipartisan members of Congress wrote a letter to HRSA in 2018 responding to their request for more rulemaking authority by telling it to first use their existing authority to better monitor the 340B program.
There was also bipartisan support for 340B reform legislation to be included in the 21st Century Cures bill the House passed in 2015, but legislators later dropped it.