Strategic Program Management Key to Maximizing 340B Benefits for Health Systems

December 17, 2019

As participation in the 340B program becomes more of a political football especially in the upcoming 2020 election year, it is even more important to be mindful of access requirements and compliance tracking.

As participation in the 340B program becomes more of a political football especially in the upcoming 2020 election year, it is even more important to be mindful of access requirements and compliance tracking, as noted in several presentations at this week’s American Society of Health-System Pharmacists (ASHP) Midyear Clinical Meeting & Exposition held in Las Vegas, Nevada.

340B was a hot topic at the conference, which was held just two weeks after 340B Health officials penned a letter asking the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) to withdraw their proposal to regularly collect drug cost data from participating hospitals. Scrutiny on the program has increased in recent years, most recently after a proposal was put forth by CMS to regularly survey 340B hospitals to obtain drug acquisition cost data for specified covered outpatient drugs. Shortly after a request for comment was posted in the Federal Register, 340B Health, which represents more than 1,400 public and nonprofit hospitals that participate in the federal drug pricing program, penned their response to CMS.

David Bain, who is the vice president of Macro Helix – a 340B software company and exhibitor at ASHP, told Drug Topics that being “able to provide [higher cost] outpatient medications from manufacturers at a lower cost to qualified health systems is really the benefit of the 340B program.” He added, “It’s what’s keeping the doors open for some of these health systems.” However, he said participation in 340B requires strategic program management.

“Our customers understand the scrutiny that comes with the 340B program, and there is considerable pressure for them to show how the savings from the program go back to the community,” Bain said. “One of the ways they can do this is by using Macro Helix’s Prescription Assistance Program.”

Bain added that participating 340B hospitals that effectively implement the program can demonstrate savings, which can then become a strong contributor to their financial health and allow covered entities to focus on quantifying and optimizing their reporting requirements.

“The goal for Macro Helix centers on 340B compliance and optimization of pharmacy workflow,” he said, noting that the company offers pioneering software to help manage the complexities often associated with the 340B program. Bain added that Macro Helix does “fall under the McKesson umbrella, and that is beneficial to our customers in terms of optimizing the business of pharmacy. Because of this partnership, we have advantages that similar businesses in our market don’t, and one of those is maximizing operational efficiencies of the 340B program and being able to help health systems honor the promise of better care to their patients.”