340B Insight Podcast
Episode Thirty: Meeting with Policymakers to Protect 340B
July 12, 2021
This week, we are joined by Bryan Jackson, chief administrative officer at Jefferson Regional Medical Center in Arkansas. Bryan discusses why he advocates for 340B at the federal and state levels, explains how to prepare for and participate in advocacy meetings with policymakers and their staff, and shares his advocacy success stories. Prior to the interview, our news segment discusses how a seventh drug company is threatening to start denying 340B discounts on drugs dispensed at community pharmacies and how the U.S. Supreme Court will be hearing a 340B-related case during its next term. (Transcript)
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- Why to Advocate for 340B Jefferson Regional Medical Center (JRMC) is an independent, community-based hospital that treats patients in southeast Arkansas, many of whom experience socioeconomic challenges. While Bryan is not a full-time government relations staff member, he wanted to support his community’s needs, so he decided to devote time advocating to protect 340B at both the state and federal levels. Bryan discusses the time involved in preparing for advocacy meetings such as a 340B Health Hill Day, and he explains how to have efficient communications when speaking with busy policymakers and their staff.
- The Key to 340B Advocacy Success Bryan discusses the 340B issues he has recently advocated for with policymakers. At the federal level this includes asking members of Congress to support legislation that protects hospitals from losing eligibility for 340B during the COVID-19 public health emergency. Members of the Arkansas congressional delegation have responded with support for the legislation. At the state level, the efforts of Bryan and other Arkansas hospital advocates have resulted in the enactment of a law to stop drug companies from refusing 340B discounts to safety-net providers on drugs dispensed at community pharmacies. Bryan then explains why a big key to their success is building relationships with policymakers and their staff.
- The Tool to Use When Advocating for 340B When meeting with policymakers, Bryan recommends always using an Impact Profile that demonstrates how 340B has benefited the community the hospital serves. He says that all members of Congress are interested in helping their constituents, and it is a win for policymakers when they can share with the voters who elected them that they are supporting a program such as 340B that is positive for the community. The Impact Profile also ensures that hospital leadership understands 340B’s worth and encourages them to become involved in advocacy efforts. Bryan explains the importance of hospital leadership joining in advocacy efforts for 340B to demonstrate to policymakers that 340B is a priority to the entire hospital. Bryan says that sharing with policymakers how critical 340B is to the health of the hospital, how it provides critical resources to the communities that they serve, and how it does not cost taxpayer dollars is a winning message.
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