Regional One Health is a safety-net provider. That means we treat all sick people regardless of their ability to pay.
Seventy-seven percent of our patients are on Medicaid, Medicare or lack health insurance altogether. A little-known federal statute called the 340B drug discount program helps us care for the neediest in our community.
Signed into law by George H.W. Bush in 1992, the program requires drug companies to sell discounted medications to health care providers that serve high numbers of low-income Medicare and Medicaid patients or are located in remote rural areas. These safety-net hospitals pass the discounts on to needy patients and also use savings from the program to fund diabetes, primary-care clinics and other needed services to improve access to care and health outcomes for our community's most vulnerable patients.
Unfortunately, this critically important program is at risk. In recent years, pharmaceutical manufacturers have intensified their efforts to scale back the 340B program in Washington by limiting hospital and patient eligibility — pursuing actions that would adversely impact access to care for the most vulnerable citizens.
For more information, visit www.340bhealth.org
For more information, visit http://archive.commercialappeal.com/opinion/local/guest-column-crucial-drug-discount-program-at-risk-3d0b617d-0626-2387-e053-0100007f0148-394661121.html