February 27, 2019– Patients often need help with their medications, and there is no better person to provide this assistance than a pharmacy expert who can offer one-on-one education.
That’s why Baystate Health, a four-hospital health system in Western Massachusetts, embeds discharge liaisons in its academic medical center as well as pharmacists in its inner-city clinics. These professionals provide support that includes conducting medication reconciliation, promoting medication adherence, and teaching patients how to administer injectable drugs.
Baystate Health relies on 340B savings to provide this patient assistance as well as financial help for patients who can’t afford their care, says Nancy Cruz, the pharmacy compliance manager for the system. The result is less burden on other system care providers and healthier patients who require fewer hospital admissions.
Cruz is the newest profile in our Faces of 340B video series. She recalls one patient who embodies the great potential of safety-net providers to use 340B to help the neediest. Baystate Health received a patient who had fled the devastation of Hurricane Maria in the Caribbean in late 2017. The patient was uninsured and running out of her insulin, so Baystate providers used 340B support to provide a three-month free supply of the medication while they worked to connect her with health coverage.
Changes to 340B that would harm the program would affect many more Baystate patients than the ones receiving direct assistance. “If 340B were scaled back or eliminated, we would lose significant programs and services, and we may even have to close down one of our hospitals,” Cruz says.
Check out Cruz’s video profile at our Faces of 340B website.