Featured Articles: Pharmacy and 340B

Comprehensive 340B Programs Supporting Population-Health Outcomes in CHCs

Friday, September 15, 2017   (0 Comments)
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Terri Terault, Pharmacy Business Consultant, Community Health Centers, Cardinal Health

Complying with strict provisions of the 340B Drug Pricing Program (340B) is a complex and rigorous process for health systems of any size, but especially challenging for facilities with limited resources such as critical access hospitals, HIV/AIDS program grantees, and community health centers (CHCs). Many of these organizations rely on the 340B program to be financially sustainable and thus, continue serving their communities – they cannot afford the penalties for noncompliance, which may include having to make repayments to drug manufacturers or possibly being removed from the 340B program entirely.

The good news is that, through 340B, CHCs can improve population health outcomes and pharmacy practice, while addressing strategic health center goals, including:   

  • Access to care – An on-site pharmacy serves as a point of access for patient care programs and affordable pharmaceutical prices for low-incomes patients, including 340B services.
  • Quality of care – On-site pharmacists are part of a team-based clinical service that provide integrated comprehensive medication management to increase patient compliance rates and optimize patient outcomes.
  • Patient satisfaction – Patients benefit from the convenience of an on-site pharmacy and consultative services.  The collaboration between the pharmacist and the physician also increases patient trust. 
  • Financial performance – Optimize your 340B program as well as reimbursement and reconciliation services.

Integrated systems are critical for effective and efficient 340B management. For instance, third-party administrators are critical to operating a successful 340B program taking care of complete administration services, financial management and compliance so that you can concentrate on the healthcare needs of your patients. 340Basics is a secure cloud based software solution providing efficient 340B eligibility and virtual inventory management for maximum savings. According to the Health & Wellness Center1, 340Basics was a reliable partner when needed most: “We were considering changing from our existing 340B management company.  After reviewing what 340Basics had to offer, and having conference calls between our team and theirs, as well as calls between one of our more influential contract pharmacists, we knew a partnership with 340Basics was the right path to take.  Prior to implementation with 340Basics, we were unexpectedly cut from services by our former 340B management company.  The shutdown occurred on Thursday causing our contract pharmacies to not be able to provide necessary services and medications for our neediest patients. Without hesitation, 340Basics had our services back up and running by the following Monday ensuring very little disruption to patient care.  That action will always be appreciated.”


Similarly, complimentary population health management (PHM) tools can streamline data-driven reporting and analytics for the community health marketplace to improve quality and efficiency in all aspects of their care delivery through actionable data. Azara Healthcare, a leading provider of data-driven reporting and analytics for the community healthcare marketplace, provides solutions that empower CHCs, primary care associations and Health Center Controlled Networks to improve quality and efficiency in all aspects of their care delivery through actionable data.  “We are thrilled to partner with the New York State Department of Health and with Island Peer Review Organization, and tremendously excited that the CDC understands how important a statewide database of primary care data will be assessing population health and improving health outcomes in New York State,” said Elizabeth Swain, Community Health Care Association of New York State2’s President and CEO.  “With this funding support, we will be able to enroll nearly every federally qualified health center in New York State in the Center for Primary Care Informatics.  While the CDC grant is focused on improvements in cancer screening and treatment, the Center for Primary Care Informatics (the data warehouse and reporting platform powered by Azara DRVS), offers a replicable model for improvement of care and outcomes across many clinical conditions, geographies, and provider types.”


The Healthcare Industry Continues To Change and Evolve

The growth in CHCs has risen dramatically: in 2011, the amount of covered entities rose from 1,128 to 1,375 in 2015 and the number of patients went from 20.2 million to 24.3 million in that short amount of time and we do not see that trend slowing down anytime soon. Automated diagnostics and documentation tools, such as DocResponse, allow medical providers to increase patient throughput, increase billing accuracy and reduce documentation time; this saves time and increases revenue. Similarly, tele-pharmacy also plays an important role for patients because it allows healthcare centers to bring pharmacy services to patients in their own community right where they need it.


As one of the largest healthcare industry suppliers in North America, with connections across the entire continuum of care, Cardinal Health continues to make critical moves necessary to compete and create value in today’s dynamic healthcare environment.  Scale and experience have led to solutions across the entire continuum—not just at certain points but from start to finish; not only today but well into the future.  


1The Health & Wellness Center (HWC) has been providing quality healthcare services to communities since 2005.  As a community health center, they offer medical, dental, behavioral health, pharmacy, and optometry services to those with private insurance, Medicare, Oklahoma Medicaid/SoonerCare, as well as the uninsured/under-insured, with fees based on household size and income.

2The Community Health Care Association of New York State's (CHCANYS) purpose is to ensure that all New Yorkers, including those who are medically underserved, have continuous access to high quality community-based health care services including a primary care home. To do this, CHCANYS serves as the voice of community health centers as leading providers of primary health care in New York State.


Cardinal Health is a Bronze Sponsor of NWRPCA


NWRPCA welcomes and regularly publishes white papers and articles submitted by members, partners and associates with subject matter expertise. The appearance of any guest publication in our Health Center News database represents the views of the author and does not constitute endorsement by NWRPCA of the stated opinions or perspectives, nor does it suggest endorsement of the contributor's products or services.

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