340B Program

A lifeline for people in need.

About the 340B Program

In 1992, Congress passed the 340B Drug Pricing Program into law. At no cost to taxpayers, the 340B Program requires drug manufacturers to provide discounted drugs to eligible hospitals that serve high numbers of people with low incomes, live in rural areas or have certain chronic illnesses.

UW Medicine has participated in the 340B program for more than 30 years at our hospitals, including University of Washington Medical Center (UW Medical Center) and Harborview Medical Center, and through a network of community clinics. The program can help underinsured or uninsured patients directly by making it possible to receive medications at lower or no cost from drug manufacturers. It also provides funds that we use to offset the cost of uncompensated care and to invest in programs that improve access to care in our community. 

340B by the numbers (Fiscal Year 2023) 

UW Medical Center  Harborview 
Uncompensated Care $406 million $294 million 
Direct Charity Care  $58 million  $110 million 
Annual 340B savings benefiting patients  $79 Million  $27 Million 
Prescriptions w/Financial Assistance  31,000+  134,000+ 
Total Prescriptions  230,000+  438,000+ 
Disproportionate Share Patient percentage*    33.24%  54.34% 

* This percentage reflects the number of hospital admissions for patients on Medicare Supplemental Security Income and Medicaid insurance.

How UW Medicine applies savings from 340B Program

The 340B Program enables access to high-quality care for patients, regardless of their income level or insurance coverage, at our hospitals and clinics and in the community. Here are some examples of its far-reaching benefits:

Patient Assistance Program

Our Patient Assistance Program helps to make drugs more affordable. For instance, one patient could not afford $3,475 in out-of-pocket costs when prescribed Humira to treat Crohn’s disease. Through the Patient Assistance Program, their cost decreased to $0, and they were able to access the treatment they needed in a timely manner.

Maintaining critical services

We maintain critical services that operate at a loss, such as caring for people experiencing homelessness or behavioral health challenges.

International Medicine Clinic

We fund patient resources that improve community health, including transportation, translation and nutrition services for underserved populations. Our International Medicine Clinic provides primary and mental healthcare to refugees, immigrants, asylum seekers and people who have been trafficked. It also bridges cultural differences by providing interpreter services in more than 100 languages and dialects.

Primary and specialty services

We provide all members of the community with broad access to primary and specialty services, such as organ transplants, immunotherapies, advanced cancer care, neurology treatments and cardiovascular specialty care.

Protecting the integrity of the 340B Program 

The 340B program requires participating hospitals to meet numerous program integrity requirements. Hospitals must recertify their eligibility annually to participate and attest to meeting all the program requirements.

UW Medicine endorses the Good Stewardship Principles of the American Hospital Association. These include improving transparency by communicating publicly the immense value the program brings to our patients and community. 

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