Faces of 340B
Sondra Donald, Director of Pharmacy, Boone County Hospital, Boone, Iowa
Boone, Iowa, (population 12,800), is a train town. Its first rail line was built in 1865 and Boone is still a major railroad hub. Local railroad workers travel frequently so it is important for them to have access to healthcare services when they come home.
They and others in surrounding Boone County rely on Boone County Hospital for care. The next closest hospital providing similar services is 60 miles away. A critical access hospital, Boone County Hospital provides $26 million in uncompensated care annually and most years it loses money. Sixty-eight percent of its patients are covered by Medicare or Medicaid or are self-pay. The roughly $2 million per year the hospital saves by participating in the 340B drug discount program is critical to its bottom line.
“The 340B program means a lot to Boone County Hospital and its residents”, says Sondra Donald, the hospital’s pharmacy director. “It allows our hospital to stay open and support many of the services that we provide.” These include critical but money-losing services such as obstetrics and birthing. The hospital also provides wound care, adult day care, infusion therapy, and public health services for the county.
“Last year, the hospital’s specialty clinics saved patients over 650,000 miles travelled,” Donald notes. “Without 340B savings, the hospital would have to cut many of its services, would likely cut staff, and possibly close our doors.”