April 25, 2023 / By Ryanlyfe

Improving Access to Specialty Medications in Rural America: The Importance of On-Site Specialty Pharmacies for 340B Covered Entities

Improving Access to Specialty Medications in Rural America: The Importance of On-Site Specialty Pharmacies for 340B Covered Entities

The 340B drug pricing program was created by Congress in 1992 to help safety-net healthcare providers stretch scarce federal resources to reach more eligible patients and provide more comprehensive services to those patients. One important aspect of this program is the establishment of on-site specialty pharmacies owned by 340B covered entities, such as hospitals and health systems. There are several key reasons why it is important for these entities to have their own specialty pharmacies, which we will explore in this essay.

Having ¬†an on-site specialty pharmacy can lead to improved patient care. When patients receive care from healthcare professionals who have a deep understanding of their medical history and needs, the chances of medication errors or non-adherence are minimized. Patients can also receive more personalized and comprehensive care, tailored specifically to their individual needs. This can help improve patient outcomes and satisfaction, which is important in today’s healthcare landscape.

In addition, owning an on-site specialty pharmacy can provide a significant boost to a hospital or health system’s revenue stream. This is because 340B covered entities can purchase medications at a discounted rate and then sell them for a higher price. By capturing more of this revenue themselves, and reinvesting it into patient care and other initiatives, these entities can improve their bottom line and provide better, more comprehensive care to their patients.

Patients who use specialty pharmacies are more likely to adhere to their medication regimens, which can ultimately improve their health outcomes. By having pharmacists who are familiar with their patients’ individual circumstances and needs, the chances of medication errors or non-adherence are minimized. This is particularly important for patients with complex medical conditions, who require multiple medications and regular follow-up care.

Integrating an on-site specialty pharmacy into the care continuum can help provide a seamless experience for patients from diagnosis through treatment and follow-up care. This can help improve patient satisfaction and reduce readmissions, which is important for healthcare providers looking to improve outcomes and reduce costs.

On-site entity-owned specialty pharmacy is a valuable community-based asset for the 340B eligible community they serve. This public health investment help to provide better care, increases revenue, and improve their bottom line. By providing more personalized and comprehensive care to patients, improving medication adherence, and integrating pharmacy services into the care continuum, these entities can ultimately improve patient outcomes and satisfaction.

Key reasons for 340B covered entities, including rural hospitals and health systems, to have on-site entity-owned specialty pharmacies:

1. Improved Patient Care: By having an on-site specialty pharmacy, patients can receive more personalized and comprehensive care from healthcare professionals who have a deep understanding of their medical history and needs.

2. Increased Revenue: Specialty pharmacies can provide a significant boost to a hospital or health system’s revenue stream. This is especially true for 340B covered entities, which can purchase medications at a discounted rate and then sell them for a higher price. By owning their own specialty pharmacy, 340B covered entities can capture more of this revenue themselves and reinvest it into patient care and other initiatives.

3. Medication Adherence: Specialty pharmacies can help patients adhere to their medication regimens, which can ultimately improve their health outcomes. By having pharmacists who are familiar with their patients’ individual circumstances and needs, the chances of medication errors or non-adherence are minimized.

4. Care Continuum: By integrating their own specialty pharmacy into their care continuum, 340B covered entities can provide a seamless experience for patients from diagnosis through treatment and follow-up care. This can help improve patient satisfaction and reduce readmissions.

Overall, having an on-site specialty pharmacy can be a valuable asset for 340B covered entities, helping them provide better care, increase revenue, and improve their bottom line.