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340B in Action

The 340B prescription drug program is a vital lifeline for safety-net providers, supporting critical health services in our communities. The program is narrowly tailored to reach only hospitals that provide a high level of services to low-income individuals or that serve isolated rural communities. Savings from the 340B program help hospitals meet the healthcare needs of underserved patients across the country. Congress should preserve and protect the 340B program as an essential part of the safety-net that does not rely on taxpayer dollars.

340B impact at HSHS St. Mary's Hospital 

As a safety net hospital, HSHS St. Mary's Hospital provides health care for individuals regardless of their insurance status or ability to pay. Safety net hospitals serve a higher number of uninsured, Medicaid, Medicare, Children's Health Insurance Program (CHIP), low-income, and other vulnerable populations than their non-safety net hospital counterparts.

Within the safety net, St. Mary's Hospital is also a disproportionate share hospital (DSH) due to the proportionately high percentage of Medicaid patients served by the hospital. To qualify for the 340B program, hospitals must have a DSH percentage greater than 11.75%. St. Mary's Hospital's DSH patient percentage is 21.2%.

In FY2018, St. Mary's Hospital realized $1.8 million in savings through the 340B prescription drug program, which was primarily used to provide financial assistance. St. Mary's Hospital is committed to providing medically necessary care by offering financial assistance for co-pays, deductibles, or medical services for low-income individuals who qualify, which totaled $2 million in FY2018. The hospital provided community benefit health improvement services for the poor, totaling $324K in FY2018. Services included: a dental voucher program, a community garden to increase food security, teach job skills and improve local sustainable food sources, and the Hospital Transition Program, which provides wrap around services for frequent emergency department patients who may have unmanaged chronic conditions, pain related diagnoses, and mental health issues.

340B numbers for FY2018

  • $1.8 million: Approximate 340B savings 
  • $2 million: Financial assistance (charity care) at cost 
  • $5.4 million: Amount spent on drugs annually
  • $2.3 million: Unpaid cost of Medicaid and other public programs
  • 21.2%: Disproportionate share hospital (DSH) patient percentage. 340B DSH threshold is 11.5%
  • $324,000: Community benefit health improvement services for the poor