Evaluating the value of the 340B Drug Pricing Program.
The 340B Drug Pricing Program is a federal program that requires drug manufacturers to provide outpatient drugs to eligible health care organizations, such as HTCs, at significantly reduced prices. Using funds generated through the 340B pharmacy program, HTCs re-invest in programs and services that benefit their patients and families. And, organizations like The Hemophilia Alliance help HTCs educate their patients about this program and advocate on behalf of HTCs to maintain the benefits of the 340B program.
In 2014, the NHPCC conducted the first national survey to assess the impact of the 340B program income on the HTC's capacity to deliver and sustain services. The survey collected both quantitative and qualitative data to demonstrate the value of the 340B program in supporting and enhancing services offered by the HTCs.
Findings showed that more than 90 percent of the social work, nursing, and vocational services of HTCs are funded through 340B program income, as well as the majority of costs associated with outreach programs, telemedicine, home visits, and care coordination.
- Nurses, social workers, and physical therapists provided 60,000 annual encounters with the majority of centers reporting that >90% of these encounters were supported from 340B program income
- 57,072 urgent/emergent telephone encounters; 62,640 care coordination and 28,880 psychosocial and vocational services—almost all not billable to third-party payers are funded using 340B program income
- 15,480 patient and 2,160 community and provider education sessions are non-billable to third-party payers; at over 70% of HTCs responding to the survey, more than 90% of the costs were underwritten through the 340B program
- 166 outreach clinics serving over 100 individuals were held with most centers reporting >90% 340B funding
- 3,000 individuals received transportation assistance with half the centers reporting >90% 340B program income support
To better understand just how many of the HTC staff are funded through the 340B program income, the regional core centers reported additional data. In 2014, across all HTCs, 73 physician equivalents and 176 nurse, nurse practitioner, and physician assistant equivalents were funded through the 340B program. An additional 320 full-time position equivalents were also funded, including social workers, physical therapists, and genetic counselors.
Taken together, this data emphasizes the critical importance of the 340B pharmacy program to the sustainability of the HTC as we know it today.