Top 3 Things You’ll Learn
- Get the equipment you need by reinvesting 340B savings into the pharmacy
- A well-run 340B pharmacy program requires the right staff
- Why providing white glove service for your coworkers matters
At its core, the 340B federal discount drug program is meant to help hospitals and other covered entities that provide uncompensated and undercompensated care stretch resources to provide comprehensive medical services and medications to their community. Managing a well-run 340B program can be complex, but it can also bring opportunity to your pharmacy and your community. As a pharmacist running a 340B program, you’re focused on all the savings opportunities for the patients you serve, your pharmacy, and your hospital — and uncovering how those dollars can be reinvested to serve even more of the community.
Here are three ways a well-run 340B program can benefit a hospital pharmacist:
1) Get the equipment you’ve been asking for through proven savings
Convincing a CFO or CEO about the value of a new fridge or other piece of needed equipment can be challenging without the correct data. An analysis of your 340B program can identify dollar opportunities tied to specific medications (and the equipment necessary to store and dispense these drugs). Recently, we showed an in-house pharmacy how to cover the cost of needed equipment with the savings created by dispensing Humira. Instead of paying $5K to $6K per fill at an outside pharmacy, the pharmacy could process applicable 340B claims, fill hospital patient-member claims, and return the savings to the plan. Immediately, their CFO saw the dollar value and approved paying for the new refrigerated storage.
2) Build your staff and pharmacy network
Pharmacists who experience leakage, lost savings or a lack of credit for the savings the program brings to the hospital, may need the appropriate staff or data to optimize the 340B program. By identifying the actual and potential savings the program provides can convince leadership of the value of adding 340B pharmacy analysts, consultants, and employee support to hospital leadership. These new team members focus on auditing the program and capturing referral opportunities. By showing the immediate impact on the organization, these enhanced teams can create policies and procedures that strengthen the 340B program and the pharmacy. 340B savings can also provide the necessary resources to open additional pharmacies and help expand a hospital’s pharmacy network.
3) Provide white glove service to your teammates and build a community
Growing your career from a clinical pharmacist to a director of pharmacy can require a lot of education, dedication, and networking. By establishing yourself as a 340B expert, you can grow your profile in the hospital and externally.
Over and over, pharmacists report helping their coworkers and community members is the most fulfilling part of running a 340B program. Providing that white glove service for their teammates helps grow their relationship with these members and makes the pharmacy plan more affordable for everyone on the hospital’s pharmacy plan. Creating patient advocate programs that provide underserved populations with 340B savings helps the community while teaching pharmacists more about the people they serve. Some pharmacists we’ve worked with have successfully created the “pharmacy of choice” within their community, making available even specialty drugs to qualified patients at minimal cost.
A well-run 340B program can make a difference for in-house pharmacies stretching scarce resources to fund critical pharmacy programs to helping your community get the medication they need. No matter your 340B program goals, remember to take a crawl, walk, run approach to the strategy. It can take months to years to implement a plan fully, but the rewards can be impactful for years.