340B Insight Podcast
Episode Forty-One: 340B Addresses Social Determinants of Health for Patients with HIV
January 18, 2022
This week, we are joined by Dr. Ellen Eaton, an assistant professor and infectious disease specialist at the University of Alabama at Birmingham. Dr. Eaton works at UAB Medicine’s 1917 Clinic, a Ryan White HIV/AIDS clinic that relies on 340B savings to treat its patients. She discusses how the health system’s clinic has partnered with local community housing organizations to provide temporary housing support to patients with unstable housing to improve their medication adherence and overall health outcomes. Before the interview, we bring our listeners up to speed on a big update in the 340B community pharmacy dispute that occurred right at the end of 2021. (Transcript)
- Addressing Social Determinants of Health Social determinants of health such as housing insecurity are a significant barrier to patients with HIV adhering to their medication schedules and in turn decreasing their viral loads. Dr. Eaton explains how the 1917 clinic connects patients with temporary housing resources and essential items, and she discusses the expansion of the program to include job and financial skills training to ensure patients can obtain housing for themselves in the future.
- 340B Savings Create a Robust Safety Net 340B savings have been critical to the operation of 1917 Clinic’s temporary housing initiative. Dr. Eaton discusses how the clinic reached out to HRSA for guidance when developing the program to ensure 340B compliance. She also shares data from the program on improved patient health outcomes and the story of one patient whose life has been changed by participating in the temporary housing initiative.
- Ending the HIV/AIDs Epidemic There are many similarities between the HIV epidemic and others such as the hepatitis C epidemic. Innovative solutions focusing on social determinants of health, such as telehealth and the provision of taxi vouchers to attend medical appointments, enable patients to have greater access to care and lower disease transmission.
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