What is the 340b program?
The 340b program is a voluntary program enacted by Congress in 1992. The title, 340b, refers to a section in the Public Health Service Act which requires pharmaceutical manufacturers to enter into an agreement, called a pharmaceutical pricing agreement. Under this agreement, the manufacturer agrees to provide discounts on covered outpatient drugs that serve the nation’s most vulnerable patient populations. NMMC had to apply to become a participant and had to meet eligibility requirements set forth by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, (CMS) for admission into the program. NMMC qualifies to participate in this program because of its designation as a sole community and disproportionate share hospital, which is defined by CMS as a hospital which provides a certain amount of uncompensated care.
Who benefits from this program?
Eligible patients without insurance can benefit from this program by receiving discounted drugs using an official cash card issued by an NMMC provider and having their prescription filled at a participating pharmacy.
Savings from participating in the program are also passed on to NMMC where the benefit lies in the hospital’s ability to offset charity care while maintaining its full service lines. Programs like the 340b were developed to assist small rural hospitals to remain financially viable while continuing to provide services in their community and investing in the necessary technology and training to do so.
What do I have to do to participate?
If you see a physician at NMMC and you are given a prescription for medication, take the prescription to a participating pharmacy. The process is seamless. You don’t have to do anything. The participating pharmacy will take care of all the details.
Which pharmacies participate?
The Madawaska Pharmacy and the St. John Valley Pharmacy both participate in the Drug Discount Program and accept cash cards.
Ask your pharmacist for details!