A 340B Discount Card Program Can Lessen the Healthcare Burden on the Uninsured
Providing affordable prescription medications to the uninsured and those with high copays.
Hospitals and community health centers, including FQHCs (all, 340B Covered Entities) participating in 340B are not-for-profit and are required to provide a community benefit. The mission of Covered Entities (CEs) participating in the 340B program is to provide healthcare services to everyone regardless of ability to pay. In most cases, local government agencies have contracted with these CEs to care for low-income individuals who are not entitled to benefits under Medicare or Medicaid.
All 340B eligible hospitals and clinics (CEs) are burdened by the cost to provide healthcare to patients, without regard to their ability to pay for those services, and struggle to stretch these scarce resources when providing crucial services to their patients in their communities. Low-income patients that seek healthcare from these CEs usually can’t afford to pay the high cost of prescription medications and therefore run the risk of re-admissions to these entities due to lack of prescription adherence. These patients often frequent the emergency rooms of hospitals or have increased visits to the clinics because their health issues are not under control. This leads to increased healthcare costs and longer wait times for all patients.
Implementing and executing an effective program to provide access to affordable prescription medications is a foundational element to effective population health.