Help From 340B After a Rare Diagnosis and an Unaffordable Bill

by David Glendinning | November 27, 2023 3:41 pm


Nov. 27, 2023­­­— Gary Chandler was in good company when he visited Ascension Via Christi St. Francis in Wichita, Kansas, because he was feeling unwell. One-quarter of patients at the health system’s three hospitals in the Wichita area are on Medicaid or are uninsured, like Chandler was when he came in. But his diagnosis was much more uncommon – aplastic anemia, a rare blood disorder that can require hundreds of thousands of dollars’ worth of treatments that are out of reach for someone without health coverage. So his caregivers marshaled 340B resources to help.

Ashley Martin is a clinical oncology pharmacy specialist for Ascension Via Christi Hospitals. She describes how the system used its access to 340B pricing to provide steep discounts to Gary on the infused drugs that he needed from his hematologist. Thanks to 340B, he received these lifesaving treatments for a year-and-a-half from his initial diagnosis and again after he suffered a relapse of his disease.

“Without the 340B program, we would not have been able to provide the care that Mr. Chandler needed,” said Martin, who shared this patient’s story as one of our newest Faces of 340B[2] profiles. “He is currently doing very well.”

340B Help for All Those Who Need It

Chandler’s story is one of the many patient health successes that are due to the dedicated health providers at Ascension Via Christi and their ability to serve patients in need using 340B resources. These patients include not just those living in or near Wichita but those living in more rural areas that the system also serves.

Patients who cannot afford their medications benefit from 340B through the system’s charity pharmacy services, which provide free medications to patients with low incomes. Patients with cystic fibrosis have dedicated pharmacist services funded in part through 340B. And through their access to 340B pricing, outpatient pharmacies located at the hospitals provide affordable medications to discharged patients who are heading home.

All that 340B-supported care results in better patient adherence to medication regimens and lead to better health outcomes for those patients, Ashley said.

Learn About More 340B Patient Success Stories

Check out Martin’s video profile[3] on our Faces of 340B page. For more stories about how Ascension Via Christi uses 340B to help patients in need, check out our podcast episode[4] and our case study[5] on the health system’s Community Cares Clinic, which provides home health services for chronically ill patients who cannot come into the hospital for their care.

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