340B in Action at Baptist Health
Baptist Health is Arkansas’ most comprehensive health care organization with more than 250 points of access that include 11 hospitals; urgent care centers; a senior living community and over 100 primary and specialty care clinics in Arkansas and eastern Oklahoma. The 340B Drug Pricing Program supports Baptist Health’s strategic priorities by helping hospitals within the healthcare system expand access to life-saving prescription drugs and comprehensive healthcare services in communities that they serve. It is specifically tailored to hospitals that provide a high level of services to low-income residents or serve rural communities.
Section 340B of the Public Health Service Act mandates that pharmaceutical manufacturers participating in Medicaid sell outpatient drugs at discounted prices to healthcare organizations that care for many uninsured and low-income patients, according to the American Hospital Association.
Savings generated are used to stretch resources to better serve vulnerable communities.
Benefits and Community Impact
The 340B Drug Pricing Program helps patients receive the healthcare they need, regardless of their income level or insurance coverage status. Cost savings accrued from reduced drug pricing in turn enable hospitals and healthcare systems like those participating at Baptist Health to provide additional services in healthcare areas of particular need, such as:
- Free health screenings (blood sugar, blood pressure, body mass index, cholesterol) available to the public that benefit low-income communities and underserved populations.
- Expanding care that might not otherwise be available to rural communities through rural health clinics.
- Extended hours at clinics, giving residents an alternative to the emergency room. That, in turn, reduces costs and gives patients one-stop care.
- Resources and education to help put patients with chronic diseases like diabetes and heart disease on a path to a healthier, more active lifestyle.
- Virtual healthcare options that offer care online anytime, anywhere.
- New technology, upgraded equipment and new or renovated facilities.
340B By the Numbers
Financial Assistance (Charity Care) at Cost: $780,000
Financial Assistance (Charity Care) Number of Patients Served: 7,443
Community Benefit Health Improvement Services for the Poor: $20,000
Community Benefit Health Improvement Services for the Poor Number of People Served: 900
(Fiscal year ending Dec. 31, 2019)
Impacts if Program is Scaled Back
Scaling back the 340B Drug Discount Program program could mean a reduction or elimination of the patient services, educational courses, support groups and programs at the participating Baptist Health hospitals mentioned above.