October 12, 2018—Frequent hospitalizations are not just hard on patients, their families, and their caregivers – they also incur significant costs for the entire health system. This is especially true for patients with treatable chronic illnesses who are unable to control their medical conditions.
For one such patient at Intermountain Healthcare, an integrated health delivery system in Utah, an inability to afford needed insulin resulted in her being admitted to the hospital 32 times over the course of 14 months. But in the more than three years since Intermountain put the patient on its voucher program that uses 340B program savings to offer insulin and other medications at deep discounts, the patient has not had a single admission.
Kevin Jones, who directs the 340B program for Intermountain, is the newest profile in our Faces of 340B video series. He says such patient assistance is a big part of how the system uses 340B in keeping with the system’s motto of “Healing for Life.”
“We try to help people live their healthiest lives possible, and we provide services to people regardless of their ability to pay,” he said. Intermountain also uses 340B savings to fund a voucher program at its anticoagulation clinic, in-room delivery for prescription medications, local chemotherapy services at its rural locations, and more.
If 340B were to be rolled back significantly for Intermountain or eliminated, the system’s ability to give patients access to the medications and services they need would be curtailed, especially for those patients who are living in poverty.
“We already spend significant money on charity care and there is a limited source of that, Jones said. So the 340B savings are “extremely valuable in providing those services.”
Check out Jones’s video profile at our Faces of 340B website.