St. Tammany Health System: Our 340B Story
St. Tammany Health System is the heartbeat of its community, caring for patients and families with excellence, compassion and teamwork; it will strengthen the health of its community with compassion, innovation and partnership and is recognized for quality, safety and the patient experience by CareChex, Leapfrog, Healthgrades, Hospital Compare, Women’s Choice and US News & World Report.
St. Tammany Parish Hospital Service District No. 1 is an independent service district in a clinically integrated partnership with Ochsner Health System. Together, the two organizations focus on aligning their healthcare offerings to best serve patients and families in west St. Tammany and surrounding areas. Under their agreement, each retains its autonomy; neither manages nor owns the other. Self-supporting, not-for-profit STHS receives no tax funding.
As a Louisiana hospital service district, St. Tammany Health System is eligible to participate in the 340B program because we provide care to a disproportionate share of low-income Medicare and Medicaid patients.
340B: A federal program supporting hospitals like ours
The 340B prescription drug program provides vital support for STHS’s role in providing world-class healthcare to residents of west St. Tammany and surrounding areas, regardless of their ability to pay. The program is narrowly tailored to help hospitals that provide a high level of service to low-income individuals or that serve rural communities.
Read more about the 340B prescription drug program and STHS’s role as a 340B hospital.
340B By the Numbers
- $4 million: Amount of savings realized from the 340B program in Fiscal Year 2019
- $5.4 million: Amount provided as charity care to the community in Fiscal Year 2019
- $19 million: Cost of uncompensated care for Medicaid patients in Fiscal Year 2018
Benefits of the 340B Program
Savings realized through participation in the 340B program affords patients high quality care, no matter their income level or insurance coverage. The cost savings from the program allows the System to provide a wide array of needed treatments and services, including:
- Discharge medications at no cost to unfunded or underfunded patients
- Access to financial assistance for high-cost medications, including connecting patients to manufacturer drug programs
- Clinical pharmacy services to patients with serious medical conditions to improve medication adherence and outcomes
- Access to specialty services, including the only Level II PICU in the area
- Opioid stewardship program to help affected patients and families
- Admission medication reconciliation program to increase patient safety and compliance
Savings from the 340B program helped a patient with a rare hypotensive disease get access to an expensive therapy. The patient’s copay for the needed medication was $481.60. The Hospital was able to provide this drug to the patient at no cost.
A pediatric patient was in need of injectable epinephrine due to a food allergy. The patient’s mother reached out to several local pharmacies and all of the options that were provided were unaffordable, even with insurance. The Hospital’s pharmacist was able to connect the mother to the manufacturer’s drug program, and the patient received the medication (plus several refills) at no cost.
A pediatric patient needed major surgery and a higher level of care following an accident. The patient was able to receive the services at STPH, instead of having to travel over two hours roundtrip to the nearest PICU.
The 340B program savings help to fund the Hospital’s meds to beds program. When filling a patient’s discharge medications, the Pharmacists reviewed the patient’s profile and noticed that an anticoagulant had not been ordered on a post-operative joint replacement patient. This prevented the patient from developing a potential life-threatening deep vein thrombosis or pulmonary embolism.
Impact if 340B is scaled back
Scaling back the 340B Program would jeopardize our capacity to offer all the services mentioned above to our patients.