ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WROC) — As the state budget deadline nears, New York health care facilities could be at risk of losing millions of dollars in funding.

Local leaders are coming together with a continued push on Gov. Kathy Hochul to keep a drug pricing program, 340B, in place. 

Trillium Health held a rally Tuesday with dozens in attendance, backing a hopeful compromise for the program.

340B affects how Medicaid patients receive their prescription drugs. Leaders with Trillium Health say if it is left out​ of the state budget, they could lose nearly $6 million in supporting vital services to patients most in need. 

“In a nutshell, it means services may be cut for those most vulnerable. We’re very concerned about maintaining our legacy as being a premiere HIV prevention treatment provider here and caring for LGBTQ communities. We’re also the only upstate New York harm reduction program addressing opioid addiction, so it means a cut in services and less access for people we care about,” said Andrea DeMeo, CEO and president of Trillium Health.

Legislation has passed through both the State Senate and Assembly to help protect those services statewide. If 340B isn’t included in the state budget, leaders say they’re planning ahead.

Meanwhile, local hospital officials say the transparency in Albany is slim.

“I don’t think we really can predict the outcome. I think, thus far, the executive has been standing firm on this, and I think this has been part of the negotiations and I think that’s why we need both the speaker and the leader of the Senate to stand firm on the one house bill proposals they’ve presented,” said Peter Robinson, vice president for the office of government and community relations for the University of Rochester.

As DeMeo commends health care workers, she adds the program is necessary to bolster the workforce.

“They are the heroes through COVID. With the courage they came with to work each and every day, we’re proud to still have our lights on our doors open and continue our legacy. These are the people that care for our community and we need 340B to do that,” said DeMeo.

URMC has a planned meeting with the governor’s office Wednesday to continue these calls ahead of Saturday’s budget deadline.

On Tuesday, the Pharmacists Society of the State of New York released the following statement:

“The Pharmacists Society of the State of New York (PSSNY) looks forward to a smooth transition from Medicaid Managed Care to NYRx this Saturday, April 1.

If anything occurs to change or delay the planned implementation in the eleventh hour, to say that would be disastrous for New York’s eight million Medicaid patients is an understatement. More than 15 managed care companies in New York state have prepared for the transition to NYRx at 12:00 a.m. Saturday, April 1, and New York’s Department of Health and its NYRx system have ramped up to support the switch-over. It would be nothing short of impossible to expect the state and those managed care entities to halt more than two years of planning and revert back to a broken system that is primed to end in a few days.

To support the implementation of NYRx, the New York State Department of Health has set up a command center to handle Medicaid patient questions and challenges surrounding the NYRx transition. It will be available during business hours beginning on Saturday and Sunday, April 1 and 2 to further assist all Medicaid patients in accessing the medications they need.

PSSNY looks forward to working with the Department of Health in serving all of New York’s eight million Medicaid patients under NYRx beginning on Saturday morning.”