Faces of 340B
Joan Barickman, Pharmacy Administrative Coordinator, Parkview Medical Center, Pueblo, Colo.
Pueblo, Colo.’s access to coal, iron, limestone, and water made it an ideal place for railroad tycoons to build steel mills in the late 1800s. “Steel City” became one of America’s largest steel producers. While Pueblo’s economy is more diverse now, the steel industry’s decline has been hard on the city. Today, one-fourth of the population lives below the poverty line.
Parkview Medical Center, the city’s largest employer, is a vital institution with a service area covering 14 counties and around 370,000 people. It offers birthing, cardiac, neurological, stroke, trauma, and other specialized services that patients otherwise might have to travel more than 100 miles north to Denver to receive. Parkview provides about $33 million in charity care annually and has a discount policy that applies to the poor, uninsured and under-insured. The $5 million Parkview saves on prescriptions drugs annually through its participation in the federal 340B drug discount program helps make such services possible.
“Through the use of 340B savings, Parkview Medical Center has been able to expand the number of hours our pharmacists have to work directly with the nursing units.” says Joan Barickman, the hospital’s Pharmacy Administrative Coordinator. This allows pharmacists to visit patients, making sure patients’ medication lists are accurate and they know what they are supposed to take when they go home.
“Because of the 340B program, Parkview has the resources to provide medication discharge counseling for the patients,” Barickman notes. “A benefit of this program is a healthier patient, but more importantly, it decreases the readmission rates at the hospital.”
Without its 340B savings, she says, Parkview “would have to cut back our services, and more importantly, not be able to expand our services and keep up the technology of the times.”