How 5 health systems are using their 340B savings

A report released Dec. 4 by 340B Health shows how hospitals that receive 340B program funding are using their savings to improve patient outcomes. 

The 340B drug pricing program was created in 1992 to make sure hospitals that serve large populations of low-income, Medicaid, uninsured and under-insured patients could continue to provide care regardless of patients' ability to pay. 340B Health is an association that represents more than 1,400 hospitals that receive 340B funding.

340B Health interviewed leaders of hospitals, ranging in size from 18 beds to 500 beds, about how they use 340B savings. Many of the leaders reportedly told 340B Health that their hospitals would not be able to provide the services they do without the 340B program. 

How five health systems use savings from 340B to improve patient outcomes: 

  1. University of Illinois Hospital & Health Sciences System — Chicago
    UI Health has used its 340B savings to create a medication therapy management clinic, a pharmacist-managed clinic that helps people taking multiple medications manage their drugs and mitigate issues patients may have sticking to their medication regime. It also created a medication assistance program that helps patients find alternative sources of payment for medications, which serves 3,600 patients annually. UI Health leaders told 340B Health that they use their savings from the 340B program to partially support both of these programs, and that losing 340B savings would eliminate much of the hospitals' ability to support such programs.

  2. Avista Adventist Hospital — Louisville, Colo. 
    As part of the Centura Health System, Avista Adventist Hospital has used its 340B savings to create a pharmacist-led preoperative antibiotic selection protocol that it says is crucial to preventing infections and other postoperative complications. The hospital also started a program to combat the opioid epidemic, in which it prescribes alternative medications to opioids, such as lidocaine and ketamine. Since the program began, the hospital said it has reduced the number of opioids ordered for patients by 35 percent. Hospital leaders told 340B Health that the 340B program helps saves the hospital $12 million per year.

  3. Intermountain Healthcare - Salt Lake City
    Intermountain Healthcare leaders have used their 340B savings to start a diabetes clinic in its Sanpete Valley Hospital, located in Mount Pleasant, Utah. The clinic provides free discharge kits for all patients, which include a month's supply of diabetes drugs and monitoring systems as well as blood glucose test strips. It has also started a cystic fibrosis clinic at its Primary Children's Hospital in Salt Lake City, the only clinic in the area that is dedicated to the full treatment of cystic fibrosis. 340B savings helped fully staff the clinic and allowed the hospital to hire a full time pharmacy technician to make sure patients receive the right medications. Additionally, thanks to 340B funding, five of Intermountain's pharmacies have filled 1,182 prescriptions, worth more than $687,000 at a total cost to patients of $10,000.

  4. Genesis Healthcare System — Zanesville, Ohio 
    340B funding allowed Genesis Healthcare system to open an anticoagulation clinic, helping patients with blood clots determine proper doses of blood thinner medications and dispensing those drugs to them. A patient taking the blood thinner Coumadin can get the drug at only $12 per month through the clinic, a drug that typically costs $100 per month. Genesis has also created a black lung clinic, which is vital in a community where coal mining is a major industry. The black lung clinic served 418 patients in 2018 and helped them obtain 5,380 prescriptions by covering $636,000 in out‐of‐pocket medication expenses. In total, the hospital provided $34 million of uncompensated care in 2018, thanks in large part to the $20 million it received from 340B.

  5. Regional One Health — Memphis, Tenn.
    With its 340B funding, Regional One Health started a hepatitis C program that identified and treated about 300 people who tested positive for hepatitis C. The health system also started a diabetes program that provides both treatment and education services, which hospital leaders told 340B Health would not be possible without 340B funding. The hospital provided $180 million in uncompensated care in 2018, thanks in large part to the $24.4 million it received from the 340B program. 

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