340B Insight Podcast
Episode 87: Advice for 340B Hospitals Pursuing Health Equity
January 8, 2024
The 340B drug pricing program can produce significant savings that hospitals can invest in more equitable care for underserved patients. What are some of the best ways for hospitals to use their savings in the pursuit of greater health equity? We sit down with Danielle McPherson, the executive director of managed care contracting and operations with Mercy Health, to discuss how one Mercy hospital uses 340B savings to close health care gaps in the St. Louis area. Danielle provides practical advice for how other hospitals can take their own integrated, collaborative, and formalized approaches to 340B and health equity. (Transcript)
- Investing in preventive and primary care Mercy Hospital St. Louis invests significant 340B funding into primary and preventive care for patients who face barriers to accessing that care. These include maternal and child care for underserved patients, a clinic partnership in one of the lowest-income areas in the North City of St. Louis, and a mobile mammography van for patients who lack transportation.
- Improving substance use disorder and behavioral health treatment Mercy Hospital St. Louis found that significant portions of their patient population suffer from behavioral health problems and substance use disorders regardless of their insurance status. In response, the hospital invested more than a million dollars into an emergency department-based screening and therapy initiative and a health network partnership to support patients with the most complex needs.
- Helping patients with their drug costs Mercy Hospital St. Louis found too many patients face health inequities because of the high costs of prescription drugs to treat their chronic diseases. The hospital uses millions in 340B savings to offset drug costs through infusion centers and specialty pharmacies as well as through a partnership with Dispensary of Hope to provide free drugs to patients.
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