(WILMINGTON, Del. -- May 10, 2019)
The 340B Drug Discount Program was created by Congress in 1992 under the Public Health Service Act to protect safety net hospitals from escalating drug prices.
Hospitals that participate in the Good Stewardship Principles have committed to ensuring good stewardship and greater transparency, highlighting the immense value of the program, which ultimately helps low-income and underinsured patients.
“Taking the American Hospital Association Good Stewardship pledge is the right thing to do for our community,” said Janice E. Nevin, M.D., MPH, president and chief executive officer. “These principles are consistent with Christiana Care’s values of excellence and love, as we strive to make a positive impact on the health of our community through innovative, high-quality, accessible, affordable care.”
Under the pledge, hospitals make a commitment to communicate the value of the 340B program, disclose 340B estimated savings annually and provide internal oversight to ensure that the hospital 340B program meets the U.S. Health Resources and Services Administration’s program rules and guidance.
The 340B program is designed to allow certain safety net hospitals – such as Christiana Care – and other covered entities that serve a large number of uninsured and underinsured patients to purchase outpatient drugs at a discount directly from drug manufacturers. It is designed, as the law states, “to stretch scarce federal resources as far as possible, reaching more eligible patients and providing more comprehensive services.”
Christiana Care joined the 340B Drug Discount Program in 2018.
“Savings earned through our participation in the 340B program will be invested into our overall efforts to address social determinants of health in our community,” said Bettina Tweardy Riveros, Esq., chief health equity officer at Christiana Care. “Through innovative programs and strategic partnerships, we are addressing critical needs in our community that directly impact health and advance health equity. These needs include greater access to medical and dental care, housing, food, transportation, youth programs, workforce development, financial literacy and economic mobility.”
Savings from the program have already contributed to these efforts. In March, Christiana Care announced a $1 million investment in the REACH Riverside Development Corporation to support community health and youth development programs in Riverside, one of the city’s oldest and most underserved neighborhoods.
The pledge also aligns with Christiana Care’s commitment to transparency. Christiana Care commits to publicly disclosing, on an annual basis, its 340B estimated savings calculated using a standardized method.
“We are committed to transparency as we work to ensure that our high-quality care is delivered at an affordable cost,” said Rob McMurray, chief financial officer at Christiana Care. “The 340B program provides us with guidelines on how we can ensure the community benefits from these savings. We are currently developing a plan for how we will share this information with our community on a yearly basis, in conjunction with our continuous work to assess the health needs of our community and develop strategies to address them.”
This pledge comes on the heels of another transformative endeavor by Christiana Care to help reduce drug costs to patients. In March, Christiana Care announced that it had joined Civica Rx, a new nonprofit organization created to give health systems access to reliable generic drugs at an appropriate price and to create greater stability and predictability in the supply chain of many generic medications.
About Christiana Care Health System
Headquartered in Wilmington, Delaware, and continually ranked by US News & World Report as a Best Hospital, Christiana Care is one of the country’s largest academic health systems, centered on improving health outcomes, making high-quality care more accessible and lowering health care costs. Christiana Care includes an extensive network of outpatient services, home health care, medical aid units, two hospitals (1,227 beds), a Level I trauma center and a Level III neonatal intensive care unit, comprehensive stroke center and regional centers of excellence in cardiology, cancer and women’s health. With our unique, data-powered care coordination service and a focus on population health and value-based care, Christiana Care is shaping the future of health care. Learn how we deliver greater quality and value at https://christianacare.org.