How to dig deeper into 340B

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How to dig deeper into 340B

The Federal 340B Drug Pricing Program isn’t a primary focus for most people, but it plays a big role in helping America’s safety net providers maintain and strengthen their services. Each year, thousands of hospitals, clinics, and health centers receive savings on outpatient pharmaceuticals—savings they can use to reach more patients and deliver more comprehensive care.

Running a 340B program isn’t easy. It’s a complex structure that demands a clear understanding of policy requirements, operations integrity, and a commitment to compliance. Keeping all of the know-how you need in your head is nearly impossible. Earlier this year, though, I discovered a resource that I turn to often when working with 340B clients.

If you work in the 340B space, the Apexus Advanced 340B Operations Certificate Program covers everything you need to know to do 340B right—from policy fundamentals to operational and auditing best practices. As a consultant, I find that it also helps me assess the risks of various approaches.


24 modules, from soup to nuts

The program truly covers it all—from core concepts to arcane complexities. I found some of the modules especially valuable, including those on eligibility for grantees and designees, covered outpatient drugs, Medicaid perspectives and 340B, duplicate discount prevention, and the orphan drug exclusion. There are also great tools—exclusive to the program—on shortage management and GPO labeled medications, and waste and expired drugs. I use these tools to help my clients implement best practice solutions and create detailed policy language.

Great online learning interface

The program is built on a friendly, interactive platform that allows you to move at your own pace, go back to sections where you want to spend more time, read additional articles, and watch video best practices from 340B experts in the field. It’s flexible, customizable online learning at its finest.

Tough—but it should be

This isn’t a program you can breeze through. I’ve worked in 340B for years, and each module took at least an hour and a half to complete. The final exam took four hours—and it’s not a test you can take cold or pass by guessing. Plan to spend considerable time, reference your notes, and dig deep into what you’ve learned. You’ll get a real sense of your understanding of 340B requirements and how to apply them in real-life situations.

A certificate that matters

Passing the exam makes you an Apexus certified expert—340B ACE—which means a lot in the world of 340B. Since I completed the program in March, clients have asked if I thought they should enroll. For people who want a deep dive into this important, complex content, I always say yes. I also highlight my own status as a grad on every proposal we send to clients. As more program managers become 340B ACEs themselves, the credential is going to become a must-have for consultants. In terms of the knowledge, skills, confidence, and credibility you gain, it’s worth every hour you put in. Just ask Rich Bucher, Rob Nahoopii, or Rich Iverson who have also completed this program.

Invaluable resource for a great value

The program is remarkably affordable, considering the breadth and depth of content it covers–and the modules are available as an ongoing resource after you’ve graduated. I use it over and over as a knowledge base and resource—to help explain ideas and best practices, to find innovative solutions, even to create blog and newsletter entries.

I see the 340B Program up close and personally every day. I’ve directed hospital ambulatory pharmacy programs, and I know how important 340B is to the hospitals and clinics delivering care to the populations that need it most.

340B programs deserve to be managed correctly—to provide the best care for patients, savings to covered entities, and efficiency to the government. As a consultant, I have a chance to help programs achieve their potential—and I take that responsibility to heart.

The Apexus Advanced 340B Operations Certificate Program is an incredible way to deepen your understanding, sharpen your skills, and redouble your commitment. For details and to sign up click here.

About Author

Jennifer Hagen, PharmD, 340B ACE

Jennifer Hagen joined the Turnkey Pharmacy Solutions team in October of 2016. She has served in various pharmacy leadership positions including Director of Ambulatory Pharmacy Services for CentraCare Health for over 5 years. Dr. Hagen had operational responsibility for Infusion Pharmacy Services, the Health System’s four retail pharmacies, and was responsible for 340B compliance at St. Cloud Hospital, a 489 bed regional medical center. Jennifer has served as a HRSA peer-to-peer mentor for the past two years and has presented numerous times for 340B University and chaired round table events for 340B Health. Jennifer is a member of our 340B independent auditing team. Her perspective involves rural health program administration.

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