Author Archives: Megan Kussay, RPh, 340B ACE

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‘Tis the Season for Giving

Last weekend, my family and I made our annual trip to Philadelphia to enjoy the elaborate holiday décor and festivities, including Macy’s Christmas light show and the Comcast Holiday Spectacular. Of course, our trip to the city would not be complete without a visit to Santa. I am happy to report, I spoke with Santa personally, and all our wonderful clients are on the “Nice” list!

Turnkey is fortunate to witness the numerous ways in which the 340B Program expands access to our underserved and most vulnerable patient populations. If you have participated in an external audit with Turnkey, attended a 340B Coalition, perused 340B Health, or listened to NACHC’s Office Hours, you are aware of the importance of your Covered Entity’s (CE) ability to communicate the use of 340B savings. Apexus provides a 340B Savings and Community Benefit Template Tool to assist in this exercise. Currently, 340B statute does not require CE’s to document how savings are being utilized, however, it is considered best practice. 

Both our grantee and hospital CE type clients have developed creative and unique ways to use their 340B savings. Stories such as how our friends at Salina Family Healthcare Center and Orlando Health have developed impactful ways to utilize their 340B savings, excites us at Turnkey, equivalent to that of Buddy The Elf’s excitement when he hears “Santa is Coming”!! If you are wondering how much excitement that is, please do yourself a favor and watch Elf this holiday season!!

Salina Family Healthcare Center (Salina), a Community Health Center, is a great example of how 340B savings can be used to minimize gaps in health care, which directly affects the quality of life of their patients. Salina has seen improvements in patient care through their various programs including medication assistance programs, prescription adherence and condition management, dental services and education, mental health and substance abuse therapy. Salina has been able to take their patient care a step further by integrating savings into their community by utilizing Care Coordinators and including “learners” throughout the clinic. The Care Coordinators assistmany of their patients – from affording groceries to helping with transitional care management. Additionally, Salina hosts “learners” from the community and is also well known for their Smoky Hill Family Medicine Residency Program. Involving members of the community to understand the needs and the gaps in insurance that leave many of their patients vulnerable, in turn encourages folks to participate in the betterment of their own community. The residency program was started due to theshortage and maldistribution of physicians in Kansas. The mission of education, and its positive impact on the community,is taken seriously at Salina. 

If you live in Central Florida, you are aware of the numerous and amazing ways Orlando Health, a Disproportionate Share Hospital, has been able to use their 340B savings to strengthen and create a healthier community. Orlando Health shares their Community Benefit Report which highlights their community outreach efforts. I encourage all to seek out this document, it is guaranteed to make you feel empowered about your participation in the 340B program and serves as a reminder of how many patients would be gravely affected without the 340B program. A standout community partnership of Orlando Health is with The University of Central Florida’s (UCF) Go Baby Go! This initiative allows children with delayed or hindered mobility the ability to experience the independence of discovering and playing. The concept is the purchase of an off-the-shelf motorized toy car that is then rewired and retrofitted for children with unique abilities. The cars allow the children to gain confidence as many of the children taking part in the program cannot walk.  The redesigned cars allow them more freedom to explore and learn on their own.

Turnkey is privileged to consult with many CEs that are working tirelessly to ensure their patients receive the attention and empathy that is needed to care for their own health and the health of their families. There are many CEs that use the 340B savings to simply keep their doors open, this does not go unrecognized. It is important to spread the word of how your 340B program is helping your patients and to stay involved in the advocacy for the program. Allow the Holiday Season to reinvigorate your team and take the time to reflect on how important your 340B program is to the community. 


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Transparency for Everyone

In 2018, meaningful conversations around 340B have included transparency. Many covered entities, large and small, have embraced the notion of transparency in their 340B program. In order to protect the 340B program, CEs have put pen to paper and began telling their stores of how 340B savings are being utilized. I think we can agree, we have all been waiting for manufacturer to follow suit.

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If you do not take the time to tell your story, someone else will!

It was impossible to walk away from this summer’s coalition meeting and not feel compelled to tell your own 340B story. If you read our newsletters, we have not stopped blogging about this!  As you made your way through the many informative sessions at the 340B coalition, you heard the many stories of the positive and often lifesaving impact that 340B has on vulnerable patients. Unfortunately, these stories were told primarily within the confines of the Omni Hotel. After hearing from Sectary Azar, it was even more evident that not enough stories of the good work being done via the 340B program are not reaching the members of our administration.

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New Year’s Resolution- 340B Style

The arrival of a “New Year” seems like a natural time to make important changes. But how quickly do those New Year’s resolutions lose traction? Instead of focusing on ourselves and all the clichés that could be your New Year’s resolution, let us instead vow to make a resolution for another! Can you think of a better way to help others than our 340B program? If we all take a moment to look at our own 340B programs, we are making a New Year’s resolution to protect it!

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Contract Pharmacy – Is it a Risk You Are Willing To Take?

When you think of compliance pitfalls in the 340B Program, contract pharmacy immediately comes to mind. Contract pharmacy is one of the highest compliance risk areas of the 340B program; however, the reward of better serving our vulnerable and underserved patients to many is well worth the risk. Contract pharmacies have allowed covered entities to expand their reach to the most vulnerable of patients. Through 340B savings, many covered entities have provided: access to medications, support for non-covered procedures; improved healthcare and education; and support and resources for patient care. In many cases, these most vulnerable patients would have otherwise fallen through the cracks of our sometimes-flawed healthcare system. So how does the covered entity handle the complexities of the contract pharmacy arrangements?

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